GW women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown has had some top players in his nearly 20 years in Foggy Bottom. On the night that he picked up the 500th win of his career, it is fitting that his prize player led his team.
Kim Beck scored 19 points, all of which came in the second half, to lead the No. 16/13 (AP, ESPN/USA Today) Colonials to a 73-65 victory over Duquesne Saturday in Pittsburgh. The win was GW’s fourth in a row and keeps the squad atop the Atlantic 10 standings with a 6-1 conference and 18-4 overall record.
The Colonials led by as many as 14 during the first half, but the Dukes rebounded early in the second half and GW led by only four with ten minutes remaining. Though GW is just two games removed from its domination of Charlotte a week ago, on their coach’s historic night, the Colonials had trouble putting the game on ice.
“We were up 10 or 12 but we could never seem to (pull away). They made some shots and it got close, and then Kim Beck took over,” McKeown said.
Beck, in fact, did not have her hottest game of the year, as she scored most of her points from the free-throw line and shot 4-of-17 from the field. Even her six turnovers totaled more than her five assists, but McKeown was nonetheless quick to praise.
“Without her I’d be still searching for 400, let alone 500,” he said.
The Duquesne victory marks the fourth straight game that GW led its opponent in rebounding margin after struggling in that category earlier this season. While McKeown acknowledged his team’s improvement, he said he still hopes to get the Colonials back playing at the level they did against Charlotte.
“We’re still not in sync the way we need to be like we were against Charlotte,” he said. “That’s the game I’m going to keep going back to and try to get our team to play at that pace over the month of February and in to March.”
GW now has six games left in its regular-season schedule. McKeown said that it can be tough at times to keep a team on track when it gets up big against an opponent or has a size advantage, but he added that senior leadership is the most important ingredient in keeping the team’s collective head on straight.
“I think you’ve gotta set the tone in practice, and I think you gotta make sure that the players understand what’s at stake and that you can’t have let downs,” he said.
The Colonials have a week off before hosting Richmond, Feb 10. at 2 p.m. GW is expected to commemorate McKeown’s 500 career victories that afternoon.