PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19 — The saying goes, “good things happen in threes.” Twice this season the GW women’s basketball team has hit big shots when it needed them at the end of a game. At Temple Saturday afternoon, the Colonials could not make the magic happen a third time.
No. 20/13 (AP, ESPN/USA Today) GW fell 68-66 to the Owls, ending its 18-game regular-season Atlantic 10 winning streak. It is also the Colonials’ (14-4, 2-1 A-10) first loss since November. The win is Temple’s (9-10, 2-1 A-10) second in six games and should give a squad with a sagging record a much-needed boost.
Senior Sarah-Jo Lawrence drove along the baseline in the Colonials’ last true possession with 12.3 seconds left, but her floating attempt over LaKeisha Eaddy came up just short, hitting the front of the rim and falling into the hands of Jasmine Stone. The Colonials subsequently fouled Stone, who missed the front end of her one-and-one opportunity.
GW had a final opportunity with two seconds left after the rebound caromed off Temple’s Shanea Cotton and out of bounds, but junior Antelia Parrish’s inbounds pass was picked off by a slashing Eaddy, who threw the ball into the air to signal the Owls’ completed victory.
The loss was a heartbreaking one for GW, as the Colonials had seemed resilient all afternoon and kept a calm demeanor through the senior leadership of Lawrence and Kim Beck. Lawrence and junior Jessica Adair were visibly dejected in the postgame press conference, and the often-talkative Lawrence had few words to describe her feelings.
The Temple match-up came just days after the Colonials scrambled out a win over Rhode Island in a game that head coach Joe McKeown called “a hangover.” Regardless of whether or not GW lost to the Owls for lack of energy, the game was the second in as many contests that the Colonials came close to losing to or lost to an opponent in what is widely considered to be an easier part of their schedule – something the Colonials would like to put behind them.
“It’s just another loss. We know what we’ve got to do to get back on top now.” Adair said. “We’re the team in the A-10 with the target on our back, so we’ve gotta play that much harder.”
The game was not without a bit of controversy. After the Colonials had turned an eight-point deficit into a two-point lead and with the game now tied, Temple let the shot clock run low before shooting. The ball slid free and out of bounds with just two seconds on the shot clock and on the inbounds pass, Cotton received the ball just to the right of the hoop, and tossing up a shot that hit the rim once and dropped through the net. The referees counted Cotton’s shot, though the Colonials’ bench was shouting that she had not released the ball before the shot clock buzzer sounded. The officiating crew did not review the play.
McKeown was visibly upset that the shot counted.
“Until I look at the tape, I have no idea (what actually happened),” McKeown said. “I saw zero come up, but until I look at it again I don’t know. They should have gone to the monitor, probably, because you want to be sure in those types of situations.”
GW will try to bounce back from the Temple defeat Wednesday, when it hosts La Salle at 7 p.m.