This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.
It seemed Megan Nipe, in her fifth and final year, would easily eclipse the 1,000-career point total while leading the Colonials to the top of the Atlantic 10. By the start of league play, she had already topped 30 points in two games.
But a right-knee injury sidelined Nipe for five straight games. Around Christmas, she said she wasn’t sure 1,000 points could even happen. But still, she returned to the lineup, gimpy – striding up and down the court stingingly and cautiously.
“I was always a step behind for the first couple weeks,” Nipe said. “I would think, ‘They’re not going to keep me out there for very long when I can’t keep up with anybody.’ So it’s been a process of just getting back there.”
Wednesday night, despite still not being at 100 percent, Nipe broke the 1,000-career point mark. She needed 12 points; she finished with 13 in 28 minutes – her most minutes since returning from the injury. it was a big night that would only get better.
After scoring four points in the first half, Nipe checked into the second half with 13:37 to play and her team down 53-48. Her first shot: a 3-pointer that went begging – a theme for GW on Wednesday. Her next shot: a jumper that tied the game. She would add another bucket and an assist to her stat sheet, and despite missing her next two threes, stayed confident in her stroke.
Finally a made three, the only one of the game for the Colonials, with 2:34 to go iced the game. A couple free throws later with a little over minute to play, and Nipe would finish with 1,001 points, while her team pulled off the upset win over a Duquesne team that defeated them in double-overtime last year.
When the game was over, it wasn’t the 1,001 points that Nipe was most proud of.
“We really struggled to win against them, really my entire career here. So tonight felt really great on their home court to kind of keep throwing punches,” Nipe said. “And at the end of the game I turned to Danni and we both just smiled because we knew, ‘We finally beat them.”
The win not only was a big one for Nipe and Jackson, but it also made them the eighth pair of Colonial teammates to score 1,000 points in the same season. Jackson passed the 1,000 career point total back in late November. Jackson came into her fifth year with 966 total points, while Nipe had only 727 points.
They become the 26th and 27th GW players to reach this total and the first pair to do so in the same season since Sarah-Jo Lawrence and Kimberly Beck in 2007-08 – the same year the Colonials went onto the Elite Eight.
Legacy is something head coach Jonathan Tsipis said the three of them talk about. He didn’t say, though, that she wants being a premier scorer to be her legacy, but rather, that “toughness part,” that she’s showcased this season.
“It’s a tribute to a kid who very well could have said, ‘Oh, that’s the end of my career. Something I’m not sure I can get over,’” Tsipis said. “It was, ‘Coach, I think I can still help if you’re ok knowing that it’s going to be a little different circumstance coming off the injury,’ and I think that’s fun.”