Coach Joe McKeown knows what it’s like to be a nationally ranked team. Since the 1990-91 season, his GW women’s basketball team has cracked the Top 25 at one point or another every year except for 2000-01.
This year, the Colonials have been looking up at a few ranked conference opponents. On Jan. 20, the Colonials defeated then-No. 25 ranked Richmond. They will face another Thursday night at Temple, a team that is making the first Top 25 appearance in school history.
The No. 24/25 (Associated Press/ESPN) Owls will face GW at 7 p.m. in Philidelphia.
Temple head coach Dawn Staley has converted her own playing knowledge to the coaching ranks and has led the Owls to their most nationally prominent season to date. In her five years as head coach, Staley has built her program from the ground up.
“They have gotten very good very quickly,” McKeown said. “In just her second year they won the A-10 championship.”
Temple has captured two of the last three Atlantic 10 championships. Despite their success in tournament play, McKeown has Temple’s number. In his tenure as coach, he leads the all-time series 25-3.
This season, Temple is off to a fast start. The Owls are 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the A-10. Two of their three losses came at the hands of perennial powerhouses Tennessee and Louisiana State University, both top 10 teams.
The Colonials will be challenged by all-league selection Candice Dupree. Dupree is third in A-10 points per game (16.4) and is one of the leagues top prospects.
“We face them once during the regular season,” McKeown said. “So its going to have the playoff game type atmosphere.”
-Joshua Meredith contributed to this report.