Women defeat Fordham 62-51, advance to A-10 semifinals

The GW Women’s Basketball team used a seven minute, 19-0 run during the second half of its Atlantic 10 Championship quarterfinal match-up with Fordham to defeat the Rams 62-51.

“We didn’t play well the first half and lost some of our poise,” GW coach Joe McKeown said. “We did a good job settling down in the second half.”

The Colonials will play Richmond Sunday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. This is the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Colonials won both games this season.

“Dean Smith said that the toughest thing is beating the same team three times,” McKeown said. “I told my players after the game when you come to play at GW you come to play in one of the top programs in college basketball. We didn’t come here to win quarterfinal games and I don’t want them to get to hot, we have a semifinal game at four o’clock and that’s what we are focused on.”

Richmond defeated St. Bonaventure in the opening round, and on Saturday, the Spiders downed Rhode Island 58-46 to advance to the semifinals.

GW (21-7, 13-3 A-10) leads the Spiders (22-6, 12-4 A-10) in the all-time series 12-4. The last time the Colonials lost to the Spiders was in 1982, and Richmond has never beaten GW at the Smith Center.

On Saturday, Fordham stormed out to a 30-26 halftime lead on the Colonials, but the second half belonged to senior Anna Monta?ana and freshman Kimberly Beck. The duo went 6-of-7 from behind the arc and combined for 25 second half points. Beck was 4-for-4 in the half.

Monta?ana finished with 19 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Beck finished with 12 points and 7 assists and was the offensive spark the Colonials needed to knock-off a scrappy Fordham team.

“I have been in the gym working on my shot lately and they began to fall,” Beck said. “As a point guard I don’t really look to score first.”

“But it helps when she does,” McKeown quickly added.

The Colonials’ defense forced Fordham to shoot 29 percent from the field in the second half, as the Rams scored just 21 second half points.

Senior Jessica Simmonds had 13 points and six rebounds in the win, but freshman Sarah-Jo Lawrence (6 points) might have been the difference maker Saturday.

“Sarah-Jo Lawrence has more energy than any 20 people I have ever met in my life,” McKeown said. “We put her on (Fordham’s) Monica Mack and tried to wear her out. I think Mack got tired and that was important because Fordham really feeds off her.”

Mack finished the game with 12 points and six turnovers.

The Colonials started the game off slow, trailing by as much as 14 in the first half. Trailing 23-16, GW went on a10-3 run which sophomore Kenan Cole capped with a jumper to tie the score at 26.

During the final minute of the second half, Monta?ana committed a reach-in foul on Vanessa Silva, and after the call, the forward jarred with Fordham’s Jada Jefferson. Monta?ana was charged with a technical. The argument did not end there as McKeown and Fordham head coach Jim Lewis exchanged words. The disagreement intensified and both coaches were restrained by fellow coaches and players.

Neither coach would speak in detail about the argument but fans sitting behind the bench said that Lewis used a ‘highly offensive expletive’ towards McKeown.

Monta?ana hit her 100th career three-pointer during the game. She is the ninth player in program history to reach the milestone.

Quarterfinal Recap

The day began at the 2005 A-10 Championship with Philadelphia and big five rivals Temple and Saint Josephs squaring off. The No.16 (ESPN/USA TODAY) Owls easily defeated the Hawks 61-51. A-10 Player of the Year Candice Dupree led Temple with 12 points in 24 minutes.

The day’s second game was a highly anticipated match-up between Xavier and Massachusetts. UMass could not contain Tara Boothe (22 points, 10 rebounds) as the Musketeers rolled easily 69-46.

Tomorrow’s match-ups

Game One: Temple (East 1) vs. (West 2) Xavier, 2 p.m.

Game Two: George Washington (West 1) vs. (West 3) Richmond, 4 p.m.

Both games will be televised on the Atlantic 10 Network.

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