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Posted Saturday, Feb. 23, 11:21 p.m.
If first impressions are any indicator of how a basketball game will flow, the GW women’s basketball team showed Saint Joseph’s early in Friday night’s game which team would dictate game play. The No. 9 Colonials cruised to an 87-60 victory, setting up a meeting with Temple Sunday that will determine the Atlantic 10 regular season champion and the first seed in the A-10 Tournament.
Against Saint Joe’s, GW (24-2, 13-0 A-10), which normally thrives on its defense, showed its ability on the other side of the ball as the Colonials scored a season-high 87 points. Junior Sarah-Jo Lawrence and sophomore Jessica Adair each had 16 points, while senior Kenan Cole had 13 points and sophomore Jazmine Adair added 10.
Saint Joe’s (15-12, 7-6 A-10) coach Cindy Griffin said that the Colonials are the strongest team that her squad has faced all season and the Adairs’ ability to play together is something that will help GW.
“I would say (they are the best team I’ve seen all year). They’re different,” Griffin said. “They’re deep in the post. The Adair sisters, that’s something most teams do not have. Other teams don’t have that depth with that kind of player.”
Griffin also applauded the play of junior Whitney Allen, who held Saint Joe’s senior Ayahna Cornish, who averages 17.2 points per game, to 10 points. Allen, who also had 12 rebounds, made what turned out to be the play of the game. Midway through the first half Allen stole the ball, threw the ball a behind-the-back to herself while tiptoeing to stay in bounds and made the break-away lay-up, on which she was fouled, causing an uproar from the 1,172 fans in attendance.
That kind of energy will be necessary against Temple (23-5, 13-0 A-10). Cole, who will be honored as the team’s lone senior on Sunday, and coach Joe McKeown said that the Colonials recognize that the game will require both teams to play their best basketball.
“They’re definitely a great team,” Cole said. “They’ve done a great job in the A-10. We’re going to have to prepare for them and make sure we come out like we did tonight: strong.”
“(The games between Temple and GW have been) great games.,” McKeown said. “Last year we beat them twice (in the regular season) and then they got us in the (A-10) final. I certainly respect them and the year that they’re having. It’s become a really good rivalry.”