The GW women’s basketball team had trouble finishing off its two games this weekend and ended up splitting the pair. Before barely surviving a 64-61 win over Rhode Island Saturday night at home, the Colonials fell at Temple 72-64 Thursday night.
The Colonials (13-6, 6-2 Atlantic 10) have won their last 16 games at the Smith Center, including all nine this season. The streak is third best in program history and currently the eighth longest in Division I.
In the second half Saturday night, the teams tussled back and forth for the lead. The Colonials finally grabbed it for good with just nine minutes remaining. But over the final several minutes, Rhode Island (5-5, 3-6 A-10) applied pressure, cutting the lead to as few as two points, before senior Anna Monta?ana’s shot extended the lead to six with just 31 seconds remaining.
GW, however, allowed several unguarded lay-ups and made two costly turnovers, cutting their lead to 64-61 with seven seconds remaining.
Then, freshman Kimberly Beck committed a turnover to give the Rams the ball. But instead of going for the tie, Tanya Rhodes attempted and missed a lay-up, allowing GW to escape with the victory.
“I am very disappointed that we didn’t play with a lot of composure,” McKeown said. “It’s not like us, we were just sloppy, and I have no excuses.”
The Colonials came out flat against Rhode Island, shooting 27 percent from the field in the first half. Even though GW mustered just 28 points in the first half, the Rams scored just 30 points. Rhode Island used a physical front line to outmuscle GW, holding senior center Jessica Simmonds to just four first-half points.
“I think the fact that we couldn’t put away Rhode Island in the first half got us a little flustered,” head coach Joe McKeown said. “They are a young team and they had nothing to lose. Then they got confident.”
GW was led by Beck, who was 4-of-11 from three-point range. She finished with 16 points and six assists. Beck was named A-10 Rookie of the Week for the third straight week and fourth time this season.
Monta?ana had 15 points even though she was just 1-of-7 from beynd the arc. Simmonds finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Colonials’ bench was not productive Saturday, scoring just three points in the contest. Freshman Sarah-Jo Lawrence was 0-for-6 from the field in 22 minutes and sophomore Kristina Gineitis played 11 minutes, recording four rebounds and two blocks.
The Colonials will have four full days of much-needed rest before they travel to La Salle Friday at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 27
Temple 72, GW 64
The Colonials traveled to the Liacouras Center Thursday Center night to square off against Temple. The Owls came into the game undefeated in the A-10 and ranked No. 24 (Associate Press) in the nation. GW put together a strong effort but could not overcome the Owls.
Seniors Anna Monta?ana and Jessica Simmonds powered the Colonials on offense, scoring 22 and 20 points, respectively. However, no other GW player finished in double figures and the bench mustered just six points.
Cynthia Jordan led Temple’s high-powered offense. She had 26 points and Candice Dupree had 18 points and 12 rebounds
GW trailed 24-8 after the first 10 minutes of the first half, as Temple looked to be controlling all aspects of the game. However, GW answered, going on a 19-0 run over a nine-minute span, forcing 11 turnovers in the process. Temple got two three-pointers late in the first half to stop the drought and take a 30-27 halftime lead.
The Owls caught fire in the second half, extending the lead to as much as 10 with just five minutes remaining. The Colonials cut the lead to five over the final minutes but could not pull even.