When it looked like their seven-game win streak was coming to an end, the Colonial women made three steals, two baskets and one free throw in the last 25 seconds to muscle out a 88-87 win over the Richmond Spiders Sunday at the Smith Center.
With the win, the Colonials extended a winning streak to eight games and remained the only undefeated team in the Atlantic 10.
News that Elena Vishniakova is out for the rest of the season – her knee injury now a confirmed anterior cruciate ligament tear – the Colonials will need to find new ways to win their remaining eight conference games. They can no longer rely on her 20 points a game or quick defense.
The Colonials are rallying in Vishinakova’s absence. After being held scoreless against Temple Friday, Cathy Joens has averaged 21 points a game, earning an A-10 Co-Player of the Week honor. Lindsey Davidson has emerged from her early-season slump to average 12 points in her last two games, and Erica Lawrence remains as consistent as ever averaging 10 points a game.
–>GW 88, Richmond 87
GW trailed for 39 minutes and 56 seconds, but Anna Montanana’s foul shot with four seconds left gave the Colonials their first lead when they needed it most.
This is the second game this season that Montanana has won at the buzzer for the Colonials. Her rebound and put-back off an Ugo Oha jumper gave GW a one-point edge over Temple Friday.
“I like to play in the last minute when the score is tied,” Montanana said, as her coach Joe McKeown shook his head with a mixture of awe and disbelief. “It’s good to win by 20, but its also good to have suspense, when we win,” Montanana added.
GW was down eight points with just over a minute left in the game when freshman Greeba Outen-Barlow drove strong and picked up a basket and a foul to get the rally started. She sank her free throw to pull GW within five with 40 seconds left. Lindsey Davidson grabbed the rebound from Richmond’s Krystn Gull’s missed free throw, and Montanana put it away down the other end to pull within four. Marshiek Witherspoon stole the ball on the inbound, and Davidson made the layup to climb within two with 25 seconds left. Montanana stole the ball on Richmond’s second attempt to inbound, and Davidson dished it to Witherspoon for the tie.
Building on the excitement, Jones stole the ball, and the Colonials maintained possession with 11 seconds left. Montanana was fouled to put her at the line with four seconds left and the game tied at 87.
“This is not a game you’re going to analyze a lot,” McKeown said. “But we played hard enough to get ourselves in a position to do that.”
Richmond led the entire game, led by the hot hands of Gull (22 points on 8-of-16 shooting) and Amber Goppert (20 points on 7-of-12 shooting). The Spiders shot just under 60 percent, making them GW’s first opponent to shoot more than 50 percent against them this season.
“I’m still trying to figure out what happened,” Richmond head coach Bob Foley said. “I got to give them (GW) credit. They played hard with a minute to go, and this just teaches the kids a lesson. It’s not over till it’s over.”
GW’s defense suffered without Elena Vishniakova,.
“We are going to have to adjust to play without Vishniakova,” McKeown said, commenting that the inability of most team’s to match up with her size and quickness was what his team would miss the most.
The Colonials did make up for Vishniakova’s absence on offense however, with five players scoring in double figures. Joens and Ugo Oha led with 18 points each, while Erica Lawrence added 14 before fouling out with one minute remaining. Davidson, who seems to have emerged from her early-season slump, scored 13 points, including two three pointers, off the bench. Montanana, who started in place of Vishniakova, scored 10.
GW 74, Duquesne 59
Cathy Joens single-handedly outscored the Duquesne Dukes in the first half en route to a GW 74-59 victory Thursday night. Joens finished the day with a game-high 23 points, scored 19 first-half points to lead GW into the break with 42-18 edge.
Freshman Anna Montanana, starting in place of the injured Vishniakova, played only 15 minutes and fouled out with no points. Valerie Williams also saw time at forward, pulling down seven rebounds and scoring six points, all off foul shots.