Women set to face Fordham

The GW women’s basketball team is set to play the Fordham Rams in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Smith Center.

The Colonials (20-8, 13-3 A-10) have never played Fordham (10-20, 7-10 A-10) in the conference tourney but have won all 10 regular season meetings between the two schools. Earlier this season GW defeated Fordham 72-50 in the Bronx.

GW earned the West Division No.1 seed received a first round bye and awaited Friday’s opening round action to determine their opponent. Fordham defeated the Dayton Flyers 49-45 Friday.

Monica Mack led the Rams with 20 points on 5-of-23 shooting, and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line. She scored 17 points in the second half as Fordham pulled away from the Flyers.

GW coach Joe McKeown understands that shutting down Mack is the key to beating Fordham.

“We can’t give her any open looks from the outside, she warmed up in the second half tonight and was the difference in that game,” McKeown said. “We need to play to out strengths, taking care of the basketball and getting good shots.”

Fordham head coach Jim Lewis, a DC native, understands what the Colonials bring to the table.

“They are playing really well and they are the Western division champs, playing on their home court so we have monster challenge in front of us but I welcome that,” Lewis said. “Their loaded, they are big time program every year they win 20.”

Senior Jessica Simmonds dominated the regular match-up, scoring a career high 23 points.

“We are hard to play against when Jessica puts up big numbers because it really opens things up for Anna and Kim Beck,” McKeown said. “It’s important for us that she plays well, especially this week.”

The Colonials have won 20 straight games at the Smith Center and are on a seven game-winning streak coming into the Championship.

Championship update:

The first day of the 2005 A-10 Championship began with St. Joseph’s upsetting La Salle 56-50. It was just the seventh win of the season for the Hawks.

The Explorers were just one of three teams that had beaten GW this season.

Game two showcased the offensive fire-power of Massachusetts, which had five players in double figures in its 67-52 victory over Duquesne.

In the day’s final game, Richmond dominated St. Bonaventure 75-56 to move onto the second round.

Tomorrow’s match-ups

Game one: St. Joseph’s (East 5) vs. (East 1) Temple, noon

Game two: Massachusetts (East 3) vs. (West 2) Xavier, 2 p.m.

Game three: Fordham (East 4) vs. (West 1) George Washington, 4 p.m.

Game four: Richmond (West 3) vs. (East 2) Rhode Island, 6 p.m.

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