Women's Basketball Wins Thriller Versus Temple, 54-53
Jan. 18, 2002
WASHINGTON, DC (Jan. 18) - Freshman forward Anna Montaņana put away a layup with time expiring to give the Colonials a one-point, buzzer-beating victory over Atlantic 10 Conference foe Temple, 54-53 at Smith Center.
The two squads entered the contest with identical records of 9-6, 4-0 in conference play. GW and TU were both selected by the Atlantic 10 coaches as the preseason favorites to take their respective division crowns. The Colonials are tops in the western division, while Temple needed a victory a Smith Center to keep pace with eastern division rival Saint Joseph's (14-2, 5-0).
GW (10-6, 5-0) remained undefeated in conference play after besting TU in a physical game that was dictated by each team's strong defense. The Colonials held the Owls to first half field goal percentage of .194 (6-31) contesting every shot attempted by the shorter Temple Owls.
GW, however, could not capitalize on TU's frigid shooting, and turned the ball over 11 times in the first half. The Colonials shot a respectable .429 (9-21) from the floor, but were unable to hold onto the ball, and take control of the game. GW scored a season-low 19 points by the break, but held TU to only 16 points for the half.
The Colonials and Owls battled back and forth in a second half that saw six ties and nine lead changes. The physical game came to a head in with 5:33 remaining in the contest when GW junior forward Erica Lawrence dove to the floor to get a rebound, and called a timeout to retain possession. Temple's Ari Moore continued play after the whistle, and attempted to wrest the ball away from a prone Lawrence. A scuffle ensued, as the two teams met in the corner. Technical fouls were assessed to both Lawrence and Moore for the altercation.
This game would come down to the wire, as GW held a one-point lead with 1:08 remaining in the game. The Owls stole the ball on an inbound play and missed a three-pointer, but the Colonials were unable to regain possession of the ball off the miss. TU attempted three more shots, and collected three offensive rebounds, the last of which was converted by TU's Lisa Jakubowicz on a short layup.
GW inbounded the ball with 15 seconds remaining, calling a time-out with nine seconds left. On the ensuing inbound play, TU knocked the ball free and sophomore center Ugo Oha grabbed the loose ball and attempted a three-point shot from the top of the key with four seconds on the clock. The shot lipped out and was rebounded by Montaņana who put the ball back up with the clock ticking down to zero to give GW the 54-53 victory.
Senior Elena Vishniakova recorded her second double-double of the season, as she scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 12 boards. Sophomore Marsheik Witherspoon set a career-high with 10 points as the only other Colonial in double figures. TU was led by senior forward Athena Christoforakis who recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Colonials face another challenge when they host Saint Joseph's on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 12:00 p.m. at Smith Center.