GW Falls in Atlantic 10 Final to #18 Temple, 59-54
The Colonials (22-8) Will Await their NCAA Tournament Fate until Monday's Selection Show
March 6, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PA - The George Washington Colonials (22-8) lost, 59-54, to No. 18/20 Temple in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game, in front of 1,462 at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. The Colonials had beaten the Owls twice this season but could not topple Temple despite Kimberly Beck's 21 points. Beck, along with Sarah-Jo Lawrence, was named to the A-10 All-Tournament Team.
Beck made her third three-pointer with three seconds left in the game but the Colonials ran out of time in their comeback bid. Beck had hit her second three-pointer with two minutes left and Kenan Cole made a three at the one minute mark but the Colonials could not catch Temple who had extended its lead to 11 points after GW's second technical foul with just more than two minutes left in the game.
With 2:17 left to play, GW's sole senior Simmonds was called for her fifth foul and after arguing was assessed her second technical foul of the game. Kemesha Hairston made three of four foul shots and Temple got the ball back with an 11-point 54-43 lead. This completed an 11-point run for the Owls who had been tied at 43 with the Colonials seven minutes earlier. The Colonials stalled at 43 and did not score their next point until Beck hit a three pointer with 2:04 remaining and the game out of reach.
With a two-point halftime deficit, 25-23, Beck opened made two foul shots to tie the game at 25. Beck then put GW up by two with 16:50 left. Temple went on a 9-1 run and stretched their lead to a eight points. The Colonials then kept Temple from scoring for more than four minutes while GW scored eight unanswered points to tie the game at 43 with 9:18 left to play.
The Colonials trailed at halftime for their third-straight tournament game, 25-23. Temple outrebounded the Colonials in the game 39-36, just as Saint Joseph's had done in GW's last game. The Colonials failed to score a field goal for the final 4:50 of the first half. The Colonials kept the Owls scoreless for the first 5:15 of the game. Both teams shot 32.1 percent going 8-28 from the field in the first half.
Temple missed its first eight field goal attempts allowing GW to start the game on a 4-0 run over the first 5:15. Temple tied it for the first time with a Lady Comfort layup at the 12:25 mark. Lawrence answered with her second-straight jump shot for a 10-8 GW lead with 11:28 left in the first half.
The Owls took their first lead of the game when Candice Dupree made two consecutive baskets to put Temple ahead 14-13 with 9:04 left. Beck answered with the first three-pointer of the game. Dupree made her third straight shot for the games second tie at 16. GW stretched its lead to four points, 20-16, by the 4:50 mark with baskets from Allen and Jessica Adair. Khadija Bowens tied the game for a third time at 21 on a three-pointer, Temples first, as the shot clock expired with 1:42 left in the first half. At the end of a physical first half, Temple made all four of their foul shots compared to GW's two for a two point Owls lead, 25-23.
The Colonials are expected to get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament which starts on March, 18. GW will learn of its fate and seeding at Monday's Selection Show, which will be televised by ESPN at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2006. The Colonials finished first in the A-10 for the fifth-straight season. The Colonials were the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Co-Champions along with Charlotte who also finished 13-3 in conference play. This is GW's seventh straight season with at least 20 victories and would be GW's fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th over the last 12 years.
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