Tuesday, Jan. 29, 11:34 p.m.
During the No. 16/13 (AP, ESPN/USA Today) GW women’s basketball team’s game against Dayton, one of the 801 fans in attendance held up a sign that said “countdown to 500…499” on it. The sign represented the number of career wins for GW head coach Joe McKeown, with number 499 tallied in an 81-73 win Tuesday evening.
Helping McKeown earn the win were his five starters. Senior Kim Beck led the way with 18 points, including 10 that were scored in a two-minute span early in the second half. Junior Jessica Adair added 17 points and senior Sarah-Jo-Lawrence and junior Antelia Parrish had 15 points each.
The Flyers, who have not defeated the Colonials (17-4, 5-1 Atlantic 10) in 23 attempts, came close, inching to within three with two and a half minutes remaining after GW led by as much as 15.
“It was a hard fought game, a conference game we had to grind out,” McKeown said. “Dayton came right back and banged threes at us. We couldn’t get enough stops on defense to where we could keep that double-digit lead.”
But in the post-game press conference, McKeown did not act as if his team’s lead was every seriously threatened, joking around and saying he thought his team was going to pull out the victory.
“I felt like we were going to make enough plays to win the game,” he said.
One such play came with just less than two minutes left and the Colonials clinging to the three-point lead. Junior Jazmine Adair received a pass below the basket and made the follow lay-up attempt while getting fouled. She also swished the ensuing free throw.
“Jazmine made a great three-point play,” McKeown said. “I was really proud of her for making that free throw.”
The one area with which McKeown said he was disappointed was his team’s transition defense, especially when compared with how his team played in a 76-54 victory over Charlotte Jan. 26.
“We played great defense against charlotte. I was disappointed in our transition defense (against Dayton),” McKeown said. “When we did cover, we matched up with the wrong people. We struggled defensively. It’s something to clean up (if we want to) play deep into march.”
McKeown will get his shot at 500 wins when his squad heads to Pittsburgh Feb. 2 to face Duquesne.