GW Advances to Championship Game With, 53-51, Victory Over A-10 Tournament Host Saint Joseph's
GW (22-7) Beats Saint Joseph's (20-10) in the Semifinals and Plays # 20 Temple on Monday at 5pm on ESPN2
March 5, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PA - George Washington (22-7) defeated Atlantic 10 Tournament host Saint Joseph's, 53-51, in front of 3,009. Sarah-Jo Lawrence led the Colonials in their semifinal victory with 14 points, setting up a rematch of last years A-10 Championship with No. 22/20 Temple. The decisive game will be played on Monday at Saint Joseph's at 5:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. The Colonials defeated third-seeded Temple in the two previous meetings with the Owls this season.
The Colonials held off the Hawks down the stretch to claim a, 53-51, semifinal victory. The Colonials were ahead for the final 9:22 but the Hawks cut the lead to one with 11 seconds left. Kimberly Beck made one of two foul shots with nine seconds left to secure the two point victory. On the Hawks final possession, Jazmine Adair blocked Whitney Ffrench's shot and Lawrence grabbed the rebound as the final horn sounded.
The Colonials were ahead by as many as seven points, 52-45, when Chantelle John made a layup for her first points of the game with 2:43 left to play. Saint Joseph's went on a 6-0 run over the closing two minutes before Beck's foul shot gave GW a two point lead and the victory. The Colonials shot only 50 percent, going 11-22 from the foul line. The team was also outrebounded 39-36 by the Hawks. Of GW's 22 victories this season, this is only the sixth win when getting outrebounded compared to a perfect 15-0 mark when they win the battle of the boards.
Kenan Cole scored first in the second half to put GW ahead, 25-24 in a game that featured 13 lead changes. Jessica Adair scored as the shot clock sounded at the 10-minute mark to tie the game, for the ninth and final time, at 36. Lawrence then hit a short jumper to put the Colonials up by two and GW ultimately stretched the lead to seven points before the Hawks made a late charge to cut it to one.
The Colonials went into the half with a one-point deficit, 24-23, despite keeping the Hawks from scoring a field goal over the final 5:30 of the first half. With their defensive stops, the Colonials cut into the Hawks six point lead, leading briefly with 2:09 left in the half. GW went on a 7-0 run before the Hawks' Faith Schutte made both foul shots with 1:44 left. GW did not score for the final two minutes of the half. The Colonials had a couple of opportunities to build on their brief lead by going to the foul line three times over the last four minutes. In each case, GW was fouled on its own defensive end but Lawrence, who had put GW up at the 3:09 mark was the only Colonial to convert.
The Colonials will play in the A-10 Championship game against No. 22/20 Temple for the second-straight season. Temple won the A-10 Title in that game at the Charles E. Smith Center. Now the Colonials have a chance to equal the score with tomorrow's game at Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, PA. Temple was the No. 3 seed and defeated surprise-opponent No. 10 Duquesne, 76-63, in today's second semifinal game. Temple beat No. 6 Dayton in the quarterfinals while No. 1 GW defeated No. 9 Richmond, 61-51.