Women’s basketball knocks off Villanova

The GW women’s basketball team knocked off a ranked Big East Conference team for the second straight year Wednesday night, beating No. 24 (Associated Press) Villanova University 62-52 at the Smith Center. Last season, GW beat No. 23 Boston College at home.
Just under 800 fans watched the Colonials (3-1) hold the Wildcats (3-2) to under 33 percent shooting from the field. Villanova went only 4-of-21 from three-point range.
“I think defensively we did a great job,” GW head coach Joe McKeown said. “I think our pressure was terrific and we were relentless in the half court.”
Senior forward Anna Monta?ana echoed her coach’s statement.
“I think we built from our defense tonight,” she said. “We had a great defensive game and we just played off of that and we had a good intensity. Little by little, this team is going to learn a lot and it’s just a pleasure for me to play with them this year.”
The Colonials needed overtime to knock off Boston College last year, but Wednesday, they put the Wildcats away with 2:34 left in the game.
With GW leading 56-50, freshman Kimberly Beck made a steal off Villanova guard Jenna Viani’s attempted pass, then dished to sophomore Kenan Cole, who was fouled. Cole hit both free throws and the Wildcats never challenged again.
“That was a big play,” McKeown said. “Plays like those don’t show up to big on the stat sheet but that play stopped Villanova and gave us a cushion of eight points. If they come down and hit a three it becomes a one-possession game.”
“(Beck) played like a senior tonight,” McKeown added. “She’s going to be a terrific player and she is doing a real solid job running our team.”
Trailing 13-5 early in the first half, GW went on a 13-0 run to take an 18-13 lead with 10:42 left before the break. The Wildcats fought back, going on a quick 7-4 run to cut the GW lead to 22-20. A converted three-point play by sophomore Whitney Allen gave the Colonials a 25-20 halftime lead.
After the break, GW came out firing, building a 50-39 lead with 7:41 left in the game. Villanova went on an 11-6 run to close the gap to six before Beck’s play helped seal things for the Colonials.
Junior forward Jessica Simmonds led the Colonials in both points (19) and rebounds (13), recording the first double-double of her GW career. Monta?ana had 19 points while Cole had 12 points.
“Since we graduated so many seniors last year and we are so young this year everyone has to contribute now,” Cole said. “So I am just trying to get out there and play with confidence and do what I can for the team.”
Simmonds, who left the game early due to an eye injury, will be undergoing treatment and does not expect to miss any games. Sophomore Amanda LoCascio, however will miss two weeks, she said, because of a possibly serious shin condition.

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