Women's Basketball Slides Past Saint Bonaventure, 63-57
Martins leads all players with 21 points; Colonials extend win streak to five
WASHINGTON - Looking to extend its season-best winning streak to five games on Wednesday night against Saint Bonaventure, the George Washington women's basketball team did exactly that by downing the Bonnies, 63-57, at the Smith Center.
It looked like victory would come easy in the first quarter as the Colonials sprinted out to a quick 9-0 edge. Mei-Lyn Bautista ignited the spurt with back-to-back threes to open the scoring and Lexi Martins followed with an old-fashioned three-point play. GW (18-8, 11-3 A-10) limited the Bonnies to 2-of-10 shooting in the opening stanza and led 17-8 after one. From there, GW did what it's done all month, though not quite as easily as in previous games of the streak.
"I think we made things a little bit harder on ourselves than we had to, but we talked about having the patience to withstand someone else's game plan and figure it out," said head coach Jennifer Rizzotti. "We continued to move the ball well and get it into the post and at the other end we started getting some stops."
Despite never trailing, continuing a stretch of play dating back to the third quarter against Fordham on February 1 in which GW hasn't faced a deficit, the Colonials' lead bent but didn't break on Wednesday. After leading by as many as 14 in the second quarter, GW saw Saint Bonaventure (9-17, 4-10 A-10) rally to a tie at 51-51 with 5:42 to play, before Lexi Martins took over. With a hoop and the harm at the 5:12 mark, Martins' conversion of a lay-up and subsequent free throw put GW back on top, and the Colonials held on to extend their run to 17 consecutive quarters without trailing.
It took yeoman's work from Martins to make it happen, as in her seven fourth quarter minutes, the grad student posted 11 points and four rebounds while canning all seven of her free throw tries with reigning A-10 Player of the Week Caira Washington battling foul trouble. For the game Martins' 21 points led all scorers, boosted by a sterling 11-of-12 effort at the charity stripe.
Martins had an answer for every rally the Bonnies tried to muster in the waning minutes, as four straight free throws pushed a 54-53 GW edge to 58-53 with 3:24 to play. Again after the visitors trimmed it to 58-54, there was Martins with a lay-up to stretch the lead back to six. Finally it was another pair of freebies that put the game away and accounted for the final score after the Bonnies trailed by just four again in the closing seconds and sent the Lehigh transfer to the line.
On a night when offense didn't come easy, Kelli Prange contributed 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting to join Martins in double figures, while Bautista's engineering of the offense saw her rack up nine points with five dimes against just two turnovers.
The Bonnies put four in double figures in scoring, led by Gabby Richmond's 15.
Next in GW's crosshairs is Revolutionary Rival George Mason, as the Colonials host the Patriots in Saturday's Senior Day at 2pm, when Shannon Cranshaw, Martins, Hannah Schaible and Washington will be honored.
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