Women sneak past Rhode Island in ‘hangover’ game

Entering its game with Rhode Island, the GW women’s basketball team had won eight straight games, and was fresh off its televised win over Xavier. But even with the top team in the Atlantic 10 in its house, the Rams did not seem to be worried.

No. 13 GW needed nearly all the time it could get Wednesday evening, coming from behind to beat URI 48-45 in Kingston, R.I. The Colonials (14-3, 2-0 Atlantic 10) took the lead for good with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game, narrowly eeking out a win over an opponent that was just 7-9 coming into the game.

“We didn’t have any energy. I can’t explain how flat we were,” head coach Joe McKeown said after the game.

Senior point guard Kim Beck, who tallied 23 of her career-high 25 points in the second half, saved the game against URI (7-10, 0-2 A-10). Beck led all scorers and hit a number of key baskets late in the half, including the Colonials final two points that forced the Rams to attempt a three-pointer on its final possession.

“She just put us on her back in the second half, and said ‘we’re not gonna lose this game,'” McKeown said. “I was really proud of her, but that’s what you expect from your all-American.”

Beck attributed her success to the open looks she received when Rhode Island was busy guarding the Colonials’ frontcourt.

“I think Rhode Island focused on our bigs, (Jessica and Jazmine Adair and Antelia Parrish) so that left me a little open, and I kinda took the shots when they were there.”

After starting the second half down 22-18, Beck hit a pair of three-pointers and a jumpshot to put the Colonials ahead by one. Three minutes later, the Rams began an 11-0 run to put themselves back up by six, but five straight points from Beck brought the Colonials’ within one. Baskets from Parrish and senior Whitney Allen helped put GW on top at the end.

McKeown said part of the reason for GW’s low energy against the Rams was the fact that it was GW’s first game after its high profile win over Xavier. “A hangover game,” as McKeown called it, is when a team takes the floor after a big win with less energy.

“When you play a big game with a big crowd at home like Xavier and you get the big win, you have a little letdown the next game. I think there was some of that tonight,” he said.

GW next takes the court at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Temple, to battle the squad that took it to the final buzzer at the end of last year’s regular season. McKeown said that his team needs some rest before the game with the Owls, but also needs to simply make more baskets.

“We’ve just gotta make shots. Defensively we didn’t do a bad job; we didn’t do a great job, but offensively we just didn’t make shots,” he said. “We’ll have to get better shots on Saturday, but I think we’ll bounce back. We’ll play with a lot more energy hopefully.”

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