Women’s basketball backs into A-10 tournament

Coming into this weekend, the GW women’s basketball team had two opportunities to clinch a bid in the next week’s Atlantic 10 tournament, needing just one win in one of the team’s two final games against either Richmond or Temple to qualify.

While GW dropped both contests, they still managed to back into the conference tournament, clinching the tournament’s 11th seed when Rhode Island lost to St. Bonaventure later Saturday.

On Friday, GW (6-21, 3-13 A-10) was blown out by 24 at home against Richmond, 78-54. The Colonials especially struggled to stop the Spiders’ Abby Oliver, who more than doubled her season scoring average to pour in 27 points in the game. Complimenting Oliver’s performance was Richmond’s pre-season, first-team all A-10 player Brittani Shells, who scored 17 points. The Colonials shot just under 36 percent from the field in the game, and turned the ball over 22 times. Shi-Heria Shipp led GW with 12 points.

Against Temple Saturday, GW allowed the Owls to open the game on an 11-0 run, and made a season-low 14 field goals. GW could not find an answer for Temple forward Kristen McCarthy, who finished the game with 22 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Megan Nipe was the only player to score in double figures for GW with 10 points, and Tiana Myers was held to fewer than 10 points and under 40 percent field goal shooting for the second straight game.

This season has been a roller coaster ride for the young Colonials. After losing their only upperclassman, Ivy Abiona, in the off-season, key players Tara Booker and Dani Jackson both went down with season-ending injuries early in the regular season.

Playing with eight and sometimes seven players for much of the last half of the season, overcoming adversity has been the name of the game for GW this year. The season has not been without high points, however, including an upset win over perennial power Rutgers late in December and a win on the road at Massachusetts.

The Colonials will have a chance to add another high point to this season when they open A-10 tournament play this Friday in Upper Marlboro, Md. against sixth-seeded Duquesne. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

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