PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 28 – Since beating Georgia Dec. 28, junior Sarah-Jo Lawrence has struggled. The forward, who averages 12.7 points per game, has posted just two double-digit performances in seven since torching the Bulldogs for 12 points and three steals in December.
But this weekend, it semmed like Lawrence experienced a resurgence.
Nearing the end of a four-game road stretch Sunday, during which Lawrence is averaging 13.6 points, she found a groove and scored 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting to lead the No. 11/12 GW women’s basketball team (AP, ESPN/USA Today) to a 71-47 romp over La Salle in Philadelphia. The win extends GW’s winning streak to 11 games.
Joe McKeown, GW’s head coach, said he would like the 16 points she scored in GW’s 70-57 win against Dayton in Ohio and the 20 points here in Pennsylvania to help her as the Colonials defend its ranking and aim for an A-10 championship.
“Hopefully this will give her some confidence going into February,” McKeown said. “She’s in the gym 24 hours a day. For her, she just loves the game. She’s a workaholic.”
The Colonials (18-2, 7-0 Atlantic 10) scored the game’s first six points and jumped out to an early 12-2 advantage. The Explorers (15-7, 3-4 A-10) chipped away at GW’s 22-point first-half advantage with a 9-0 run that left GW up 34-20 at halftime.
The Colonials are 13-0 when leading at the half and this game proved no different. Sophomore Jessica Adair got 18 points and 12 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season, to help the Colonials. Junior Kim Beck had 12 points and five assists.
La Salle’s powerful sharp shooter Carlene Hightower had six points, a departure from her average of 18.1 points per game this year.
GW head coach Joe McKeown said he thought his team’s strong defense helped conquer the Explorers.
“I think our size helped,” McKeown said. “(Junior Whitney Allen) is one of the top defensive players in the country. She’s a 5-foot-11 player who can guard a point guard or a center. She did a great job on Hightower.”
La Salle senior Crista Ricketts was the only La Salle player in double figures, scoring 16 points.
The Colonials finish their four-game road trip at Richmond Feb. 3. The Spiders are 3-3 in the A-10 and 9-12 overall.