Colonials Nab Share of First with Overtime Victory
Feb. 20, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington women's basketball team (18-7. 11-3 Atlantic 10) vaulted into a tie with Xavier and Richmond for first place in the A-10 West by posting a 75-66 triumph over the Musketeers (17-8, 11-3 Atlantic 10) on Sunday, Feb. 20 at the Smith Center. Senior All-America candidate Anna Montañana tallied six of her career-best 27 points in overtime to lead the Colonials to victory.
GW led 65-60 with just over a minute to play in regulation. After a 30-second timeout by Musketeers' head coach Kevin McGuff, Xavier's Tara Boothe knocked down a three to make the score 65-63 with 47 seconds left. On GW's ensuing possession Suntana Granderson stole the ball and was fouled by Montañana. McGuff called two more timeouts to set up a play for Boothe. With Boothe being swarmed by defenders she was able to get the ball to Adeola Olanrewaju, who tied the game on a layup with two seconds left.
In the extra period, the Colonials took over, getting consecutive baskets from senior Jessica Simmonds and Montañana to go ahead, 69-65. Boothe recorded Xavier's only point in overtime on a free throw at 2:42, but a basket by freshman Kimberly Beck and two more hoops by Montañana sealed the win.
Montañana was 10-of-16 shooting in game and 5-of-9 from the free-throw line. It was the second consecutive outing she set a personal high in points and her 27 markers against the Musketeers gives her 1,223 points for her career, moving her past Erica Lawrence for 14th on GW's all-time scoring list. Montañana also tallied five assists in the game to move past Lindsey Davidson on that career ledger and she now has 427 career helpers. Simmonds finished with 21 points in the game, marking the sixth time she has tallied at least 20 points in a contest this season.
The triumph was the 18th straight home victory for GW, which ranks as the sixth-longest active home-winning streak in Division I, and the Colonials are 11-0 at the Smith Center this season. The game also marked the first overtime decision for GW since the Colonials knocked off Boston College, 76-75, at the Smith Center on Dec. 10, 2003.
The contest was close throughout as neither team led by more than six points until overtime. The Colonials owned a 25-19 advantage with just under three minutes to go in the first half, but a 7-2 Xavier scoring spurt made the count 27-26, before Montañana buried a deep three as time expired to send the hosts into the locker room with 30-26 halftime lead. Montañana and Simmonds combined for 24 of GW's 30 points in the opening stanza.
The Colonials regained a six-point margin with 7:28 to go in the second half, 52-46, on a Beck jumper. Xavier rallied with Miranda Green scoring five points in an 11-4 Musketeers' run to claim to give them a 60-59 edge with 3:41 to play. The Colonials responded with six straight points to set the stage for the final minutes of the second half and overtime.
Boothe finished the game with 20 points and six rebounds to lead the Musketeers, while Green chipped in 15 points. Olanrewaju scored 10 points and recorded a team-best eight rebounds.
The Colonials shot .541 from the floor (33-61), its second-best shooting performance of the season. The Musketeers were 26-of-63 from the field (.413) and launched 24 three's, connecting on eight (.333).
GW will host Duquesne on Thursday, Feb. 24 at the Smith Center. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.