Despite winning its previous 10 games heading into this weekend, the GW women’s basketball team had played sluggishly as of late, and it finally caught up with them on the road Sunday.
The Colonials were able to extend their winning streak to 11 Friday, barely getting past Rhode Island 60-56. But against a hot-shooting Duquesne team, GW got smoked, 77-60. It was the first time the Dukes beat the Colonials since 1994.
While GW (19-6, 12-2 Atlantic 10) had already locked up the A-10 West title, the Colonials’ second conference defeat marked the first time they have lost two A-10 games since 2001.
McKeown could not be reached for comment but said last week that he thought the Colonials were playing their best over a stretch that began with a 88-71 win over the Dukes on Jan. 29. That win was followed by blowout victories over La Salle and Fordham at home and Richmond on the road.
Since then, the Colonials have been starting games slowly and getting by on superior talent and second-half spurts. But in Pittsburgh on Sunday, GW ran into a team playing too well for the Colonials to keep that winning formula alive.
Both teams struggled offensively early on until the Dukes (15-11, 10-5 A-10) used a 10-0 run to take an 18-9 lead with eight minutes left in the half. By halftime, Duquesne led 35-22.
The Dukes extended that lead to 16 after the intermission, when GW went on one of its second-half runs to cut the lead to eight with 12 minutes left. But Duquesne caught fire, going on an 11-0 run of its own to put the game out of reach.
A-10 leading scorer Candace Futrell led the way for the Dukes, going 5-for-10 from three-point land as she finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Aiga Bautre and Loui Hall joined Futrell in double figures, scoring 14 and 11 points, respectively.
As a team, Duquesne shot 56 percent in the second half and 45 percent for the game. The Dukes’ finished 13-for-21 from behind the arc, setting a school record for made three pointers.
Junior Anna Montaana led GW with 19 points and seven rebounds, but she committed seven of the Colonials’ 19 turnovers. Senior Cathy Joens scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but went 6-for-17 from the field.
Senior Ugo Oha only played 26 minutes due to foul trouble and finished with six points and two rebounds, while senior Val Williams played 14 minutes and finished with eight points and zero rebounds.
To beat the Rams Sunday, the Colonials needed 32 points from Joens and a 9-2 run over the game’s final 5:40.
The key stretch of that run started when Joens hit a jumper to give GW a 55-54 lead. After a Colonials free-throw put them up by two, GW forced a turnover that resulted in one of Joens’ six three-pointers to put the game away.
GW shot 42 percent from the field compared to the Rams, who shot only 32 percent, but the Rams took a staggering 27 more total shots.
Oha had 10 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
GW closes out the regular season with games at Massachusetts Thursday and at home against Temple Sunday.