Women's Hoops Takes Care of Business at Saint Joseph's
Defense leads Colonials to 49-46 win over Saint Joseph's for 10th A-10 win of season
PHILADELPHIA - Tuesday night's game at Hagan Arena between George Washington and Saint Joseph's was every bit of what was advertised. The two teams entered the contest with identical overall records and both sitting at 9-5 in the Atlantic 10. The Colonials returned to a winning formula, one that has seen them sprint out to a 6-1 record in February and winners in three straight games, in a 49-46 win over the Hawks.
The victory slides the Colonials into sole possession of fifth place in the Atlantic 10 standings on a night where the rest of the conference was idle. GW has now won three in a row, six of the last seven games and eight of the last 11 entering Saturday's Senior Day tilt against Richmond (2 p.m.).
GW again relied on a relentless defensive effort that pulled the team out of an early seven-point hole in the first quarter. The Hawks had used a 6-0 run, capitalizing on three consecutive turnovers, to pull ahead 14-7, but the Colonials answered out of a timeout with a 6-0 run of their own to trail by just one, 14-13, after 10 minutes.
After trading points in the early portion of the second quarter, a three pointer by Mei-Lyn Bautista ignited a 10-2 run that led to a 28-22 lead at halftime.
GW led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter but a late cold streak allowed the Hawks to get the deficit to six points at the end of the third quarter. The Hawks kept the momentum on their side to begin the fourth and tied the score at 41-41 with just over seven minutes remaining.
A three pointer by Camila Tapias put GW back on top by three points but Saint Joseph's refused to back down and once again tied the score at 44-44. Neither team found the scoreboard over the ensuing two minutes until a steal by Kelli Prange led to a fastbreak layup at the other end for Brianna Cummings. The senior hit the bucket, drew the foul and hit the freebie for an old-fashioned three-point play to put GW ahead for good, 47-44.
After Saint Joseph's cut the lead to one point, the Hawks had a chance for the lead but a defensive stop and a huge rebound by Prange gave the ball back to the Colonials. Bautista iced the game with a pair of free throws and a desperation three at the horn was off the mark.
Tapias and Cummings shared the team lead with 11 points apiece while junior Kelsi Mahoney and freshman Neila Luma each chipped in eight points. Luma, the reigning A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week, pulled down a game-high seven rebounds while Mahoney was also active on the glass with four boards.
GW forced 14 turnovers in the contest, including nine steals, and converted the miscues into 21 points off turnovers at the other end. GW also limited the Hawks to just 37 percent shooting from the field and only allowed a pair of double-digit scorers, well below Saint Joseph's average of putting all five starters in double figures.
The Colonials return home to the Smith Center on Saturday afternoon for the final home game in the careers of Cummings, Tapias and Prange. Senior transfer Taylor Campbell will also be honored in a pregame ceremony ahead of GW's game against Richmond.
-- GW Womens Basketball (@GW_WBB) February 21, 2018
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