Colonials Battle Back but Come up Short at Xavier, 67-62
The Colonials (14-6, 7-2) Slip to Second Place in the A-10 With Only Their Second Conference Loss
Feb. 3, 2006
CINCINNATI, OH - The Colonials (14-6, 7-2) cut 12-point Xavier (15-6, 6-4) lead to one but could not complete the comeback in a 67-62 loss in front of 2,187 at Cintas Center. GW was within one with five minutes left and the ball but could never catch the Musketeers who scored 21 of their 67 points from the foul line. With the loss the Colonials move into second place in the A-10 behind Charlotte who won, 86-74 over Dayton. This was only GW's second conference loss, even with No. 20 Temple for second place in the Atlantic 10.
Xavier led by as many as 12 points midway through the first half and again with 17 minutes left in the game but the Colonials clawed their way back and cut the lead to one on two occasions falling just short of a comeback. With just less than six minutes left, Jessica Adair made short jumper to make it 53-52 to cap an 8-0 GW run. After the Musketeers answered, Sarah-Jo Lawrence scored to keep it a one-point game.
With five minutes left, GW's Whitney Allen blocked Xavier's next shot attempt. Lawrence had a chance to put GW ahead for the first time since the opening five minutes of the game, when the Colonials led by three. Lawrence missed and the Colonials could never regain the lead despite coming close on several occasions. Xavier capitalized on the missed opportunity when freshman Jerri Taylor made a three pointer to put the Musketeers ahead by four with 4:45 left.
On the next possession Adair, who finished with 13 on 6-7 shooting from the field, made a layup to make it 58-56 with four-and-a-half to go. With 3:56 left, GW came up on the wrong end of a controversial call. Both officials blew the whistle when Lawrence had the ball stolen and she was called for a foul despite the other official signaling emphatically that she had been fouled.
Xavier extended the lead to six with three minutes left but GW still had some fight left when Kimberly Beck hit a long three-pointer 1:22 remaining to cut the lead to two at 64-62. On the subsequent inbound, Lawrence stole the ball from Michele Miller in the open court but did not immediately drive to the open basket. She later passed to Jessica Simmonds who missed a layup in traffic at the one minute mark. Only down by two the game still appeared within reach but Simmonds could not quite grab an errant inbound pass which she appeared to have stolen. She also just missed a jumper from the top of the key with 15 second left that would have tied at 64 had the ball not rattle out.
GW was forced to foul with nine second left and Miranda Green missed the front end of a one-and-one. While GW had the position for the rebound the ball was batted around and rolled towards the baseline going out with 6.5 seconds left. The officials took several seconds before making a call in favor of Xavier despite Booth's attempts to keep the ball in bounds by diving and then crawling after it. Booth was fouled on the inbound and put the game out of reach by making both foul shots. Suntana Granderson made it 67-62 on the final foul shot with three seconds left. Xavier made 21 of 28 foul shots getting more than three times the Colonials opportunities from charity stripe as GW went 7-9.
GW opened the first five minutes of the game with the lead. One minute into the game, starting center Jazmine Adair scored by collecting the ball and hitting a turnaround jumper despite a double-team. Jazmine was soon replaced by her twin-sister Jessica who scored GW's next two field goals in the first five minutes. It took Xavier three-and-a-half minutes to score a field goal but the Musketeers soon took over with a 15-0 run helped by hitting three consecutive three pointers. GW went scoreless for more than five minutes and trailed 18-6 at the midway point of the first half. Beck hit a three at the 10-minute mark launching a 7-0 GW run and the Colonials made it 32-23 going into halftime.
The Colonials play next on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. when they play host to Saint Louis in the first ever meeting between the two teams. Saint Louis upset La Salle on Friday night, 70-60, for their second conference win despite La Salle leading the conference just two weeks ago. Saint Louis is tied for last place in the A-10 at 2-7 and the other newcomer to the conference, Charlotte, is alone in first with an 8-1 A-10 record.