Women’s basketball’s road to raising a banner

Media Credit: Josh Solomon | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Despite a loss to Fordham Saturday, the women’s basketball team could still raise the Atlantic 10 Championship banner by year’s end.

The Colonials (7-4) sit in a tie for fifth in the conference and have five games left in the regular season. With four wins, they could vault themselves to second or third in the standings and grant themselves a bye into the third round of the A-10 tournament.

Don’t forget, this is a team that upset then-No. 10 Cal, defeated reigning A-10 regular season champ Saint Joseph’s and knocked out Duquesne from first place in the standings. The Cal game was the only win at home, too.

The team has been plagued by injuries, but with a healthy roster and the right seeding come tournament time, they could still fulfill their preseason goal. Here’s a look at the remaining games on the Colonials schedule:

Feb. 13 vs. VCU, a middle-of-the-pack conference team.

Head coach Jonathan Tsipis noted after the Fordham loss that this should be a fun game because a lot of the players will be familiar with each other, calling it a bit of a “rivalry” game. If sophomore Jonquel Jones – a Dumfries, Va. native – posts another double-double, GW will likely get the win.

Feb. 15 at Massachusetts, an A-10 bottom-feeder.

UMass is still looking for their first conference victory, but that search likely won’t end Saturday morning. The Colonials beat them 89-76 just two weeks ago up in Massachusetts and now will have a chance for another tune-up game Saturday morning.

Feb. 22 at Richmond, another middle-of-the-pack team.

The last thing GW wants to do is start to look ahead to their two big final games, so this could become a trap game for the Colonials. They will have a week to rest up and prepare for the Spiders, and if they keep their focus on them, they should find themselves with a three-game winning streak.

Feb. 26 at St. Bonaventure, a huge road test against the conference’s best.

If GW wins this game, they’d likely break into the top four of the conference. The Bonnies will also have plenty of motivation, playing their final home game of the season. It will be up to Jones and freshman Caira Washington to put home second-chance points against this highly efficient 3-point shooting team. The Colonials are at the top of the A-10 with 17 offensive rebounds a game, while the Bonnies are dead last.

March 1 vs. Dayton, the conference favorite and NCAA tournament hopeful.

The Flyers could be on a nine-game winning streak heading into the game, but if they are, they will have clinched the regular season title, leaving them with two scenarios: play their A-game and continue to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, or rest their starters before the A-10 tournament. That decision will have a huge effect on the outcome for the Colonials.

Best case scenario: GW heads into the Flyers game with an 11-4 conference record. A win there would jumble the seeding and could move them up to as high as a two or three seed, but as long as they can break into the top four, the Colonials will have a bye to the third round of the A-10 Championship.

A few losses, though, and they’ll likely find themselves where they are now, in the middle of the pack and with a date for an early round matchup.

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