Exactly five years to the day since the GW women’s basketball team lost its last home conference game, St. Joseph’s shocked the Colonials in a 64-62 thriller Saturday night at the Smith Center. On Jan. 10, 1999, the Colonials lost to then-Atlantic 10 member Virginia Tech but won 37 straight conference games at the Smith Center since that day. Saturday’s loss also prevented GW from recording its 500th win in program history.
The Colonials (8-5, 2-1 A-10) split four non-conference games over winter break to finish with a 6-4 non-conference record and then began A-10 play with two double-digit wins against Xavier and Dayton. But the Hawks (8-4) jumped out to an early lead Saturday, making it clear that the game would be no ordinary home blowout for GW.
“I give a lot of credit to St. Joe’s. They really played well tonight,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “I am disappointed with our performance. We just didn’t execute tonight. It was a team effort and we didn’t play well and I didn’t coach well.”
After a seesaw first half ended with GW leading 29-28, the second half was played closely, with St. Joseph’s holding a slight advantage throughout. The Hawks extended their lead to six in the final minutes, but junior Anna Montanana came up with a steal and drained a three-pointer to cut the lead to three.
The Colonials fouled senior Erin Brady, who missed both free throws, and senior Cathy Joens raced down court and was fouled in the act of shooting a wild three-pointer. Joens hit the first two free throws before the Hawks called a timeout in an attempt to ice her. It worked, as Joens missed the final free throw, which would have tied the game, and the Colonials were forced to foul.
“You could say (the timeout worked) because I missed it, but it’s a shot I should make,” Joens said. “Other times I make it. Today, it just didn’t fall.”
The Hawks’ Elizabeth Mohan hit her first free throw with 2.2 seconds left but missed the second. Montanana grabbed the rebound and raced to center court, where she missed a three-pointer at the buzzer by inches.
Montanana and Joens finished with 20 and 16 points, respectively, and senior Ugo Oha added 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for GW. Other than those three, the team combined to score just 12 points.
The Hawks had four players in double figures, led by Brady’s 15 points.
The Colonials will look to rebound in a non-conference match-up at Yale University (2-9) Monday night at 6 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 5
GW 71, Dayton 51
The GW women’s basketball team continued its dominance over Dayton in an easy 71-51 victory in Dayton, Ohio. The Colonials moved to 16-0 against the Flyers all-time by overpowering the short bench of Dayton, as the Flyers dressed just nine players and had two players foul out. The Colonials’ 20-point victory came from another outstanding defensive effort, as the team made 14 steals and forced 24 turnovers while holding Dayton to just 31 percent shooting. Only one Flyer reached double digits in scoring.
Saturday, Jan. 3
GW 65, Xavier 49
GW easily defeated Xavier in its A-10 opener against a team that handed the Colonials their only A-10 loss last year. The Colonials won the game defensively, forcing Xavier to shoot a tepid 28 percent from the field. Seniors Ugo Oha and Valerie Williams held Xavier’s leading scorer, sophomore center Tara Booth, to just 12 points on 3-for-14 shooting.
Tuesday, Dec. 30
Tennessee 65, GW 51
The Colonials played their closest game yet against No. 5 Tennessee (Associated Press) but still could not find a way to beat the Lady Volunteers, losing 65-51 at the Smith Center and falling to 0-4 in the all-time series between the two teams.
GW starters outscored Tennessee starters 39-32, mainly because seniors Ugo Oha and Cathy Joens and junior Anna Montanana had 12, 11 and 14 points, respectively. The three also logged their most minutes of the season, all playing more than 35. The GW bench could not hold its own, though, and was outscored 33-12.
Saturday, Dec. 27
GW 76, Quinnipiac 54
GW blew out the Quinnipiac University Bobcats at the Smith Center, forcing 26 turnovers and recording 16 steals. GW held the Bobcats to 35 percent shooting from the field and 16 percent shooting from three-point range.
Monday, Dec. 22
Florida 80, GW 63
The Colonials could not contain the University of Florida’s offense in Gainesville, Fla., as the Colonials allowed a season-high 80 points. While the Colonials shut down Florida’s leading scorer, Vanessa Hayden, sophomore Bernice Mosby came off the bench and scored 31 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
Thursday, Dec. 18
GW 72, Oregon 52
GW’s “Blizzard” zone defense completely shut down Oregon as the Ducks shot 33.8 percent in the loss. Conversely, the Colonials’ offense had no problems scoring on Oregon, as GW shot 50 percent for the game and 44.4 percent on three-pointers. Senior Cathy Joens shot eight-for-10 from the field and made all three of her shots from behind the arc to lead GW with 19 points while adding eight rebounds and four assists.
-Jeff Nelson contributed to this report.