Posted Saturday, Feb. 25, 1:46 a.m.
PHILADELPHIA-The GW women’s basketball team fought back from an 11-point deficit at halftime to defeat No. 17 Temple 55-50 in overtime in a key Atlantic 10 match up Friday night.
The Colonials trailed the Owls 25-13 at the half, but they crept back because of strong play by sophomore Sarah-Jo Lawrence and an all-around powerful defensive effort to win the second half 31-20 and force overtime.
The win gives the Colonials (19-7, 12-3 A-10) the opportunity to clinch the A-10 regular season crown Sunday with a win over Charlotte at the Smith Center.
Temple senior Candice Dupree and junior Kamesha Hairston each recorded double-doubles (17 points and 10 rebounds for Dupree; 10 points and 10 rebounds for Hairston), while senior Kadija Bowens added 13 points. The Owls shot 25.9 percent from the field in the second half to give the Colonials the advantage, however Temple coach Dawn Staley blamed the Owls’ lack of second-half effort for the team’s collapse.
“We got beat on effort, on in the intangible things that don’t show up on the stat sheet,” Staley said. “When we come to play, there’s not a team in this league that can beat us. But if we give a half-assed effort, every team in this league can beat us. It’s very frustrating. We don’t spend a whole lot of time on effort in this program, and it’s disheartening.”
The Colonials began the game in control, taking a 7-3 lead in the first five minutes, but the Owls (20-7, 11-4 A-10) gained momentum and went on a 14-0 run midway through the first half, holding GW scoreless for nearly 10 minutes.
Junior Whitney Allen hit a bank shot as time expired in the first half from just inside the arc – a shot that Colonials coach Joe McKeown believes set a tone for the second half.
“We kind of got a little momentum going into halftime. I thought that was important,” he said.
Lawrence led the Colonials’ second-half surge with 17 points. She had 21 for the game, the only GW player in double-digits.
“She got stronger as the game went on,” McKeown said. “She’s a big-time player, you just have to remind her of that.”
Lawrence, who is usually a force off the bench, started the game in place of junior Kenan Cole, who is nursing a knee injury.