Postseason ends quickly for Colonial women

A dismal second-half performance against Virginia Tech ended the Colonial women’s postseason hopes and season. GW shot only 27 percent in the last 20 minutes en route to a 68-52 loss to host Virginia Tech in the second round of the WNIT March 16. A bright spot in the loss was freshman Greeba Outen Barlow’s team-high 18 points, a positive sign for the future.

“Next year we have the same team coming in, so our chemistry is there. We just have to put the fundamentals together,” junior forward Erica Lawrence said.

Outen Barlow and the other four freshmen will return next year to an experienced team fielding three seniors and six juniors, including the Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year Ugo Oha.

This season the Colonials roster included just four upperclassmen and lone senior Elena Vishniakova, went down with a knee injury halfway through the season.

“We will definitely be better now that we have experience with each other,” Lawrence said.

One lesson the young team learned from its last post-season game: it’s not over until it’s over. The Colonials took a 32-27 lead into the locker room after a smoking first half in which they shot 65 percent on 12-of-19 shooting. Outen Barlow scored 17 of her 18 points in the first half, going seven for eight from the field and three for three from beyond the arc.

Defensively, GW held the Hokies to less than 30 percent shooting and led by as many as 12 points with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.

A 13-6 Hokies run to start the second half knocked the Colonials out of their groove and they never recovered, shooting only 27 percent the rest of the half. GW scored only three baskets in the first six minutes of the second half, and the Hokies tied it at 40 with 14 minutes remaining. Virginia used another 12-3 run to mount a nine-point lead, burying the Colonials and moving on to the WNIT quarterfinals.

“We just stopped playing defense; we stopped blocking out, and it finally caught up to us,” Lawrence said.

Outen Barolw and Cathy Joens, who scored 12 points, were the only double-figure scorers for the Colonials. Oha added seven while Lawrence added six, below their season averages.

Virginia advanced to the WNIT semifinals with a 76-48 win over the University of Vermont but got knocked out in a 77-72 overtime loss to University of Houston.

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