GW Women's Hoops Wins OT Thriller in A-10 Quarterfinals
Colonials Beat Defending Champ Saint Joseph's, 82-79, to Advance to Saturday's Semifinals
March 7, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. - Sophomore Jonquel Jones scored a career-high 30 points, including the first six of overtime, to lead the fourth-seeded George Washington women's basketball team to an 82-79 victory over fifth-seeded and defending champion Saint Joseph's on Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Richmond Coliseum.
GW (21-9) advances to face No. 24 Dayton, the tournament's top seed as the A-10 regular-season champion, on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the semifinals. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network. The Colonials, who defeated the Flyers last Saturday in the regular-season finale at the Smith Center, will make their first appearance in the A-10 Championship semifinals since 2008.
In the rubber match between GW and Saint Joseph's after the teams split the regular-season series, Jones posted her fourth straight double-double with 30 points and 16 rebounds, and she added three assists, two blocks and two steals. She made 11-of-22 shots from the floor, including 2-of-4 from three-point range, and 6-of-7 from the foul line.
Graduate students Danni Jackson and Megan Nipe each scored 17 points. Nipe drained four three-pointers and Jackson dished out seven assists. Freshman Hannah Schaible was the fourth Colonial in double figures with 10 points to go with six rebounds and a team-high three steals.
A 16-6 run midway through the first half, sparked by a Jones' three, gave GW a 25-18 lead, but Saint Joseph's (22-9) responded with a 15-5 spurt to end the period, and a three-pointer by Erin Shields with 34 seconds left gave the Hawks a 33-30 halftime advantage.
Saint Joseph's extended its lead to five with 11:25 to go in the second, but a Jones' layup and ensuing free throw ignited a 9-0 GW surge to go up 50-46. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes, and SJU eventually regained the lead on a jumper by A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Cloud with 2:18 remaining.
Nipe's three-pointer on the Colonials' next possession put GW back up by one. Cloud tied it with her first free throw but missed her next attempt, but Sarah Fairbanks grabbed the rebound and laid it in to give the Hawks a 63-61 lead with 1:44 left. After a turnover on each team's next possession, Jackson was fouled and sank both free throws to tie the game at 63-63 with 50 seconds remaining, and neither team scored again, as Shields missed a 50-footer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Jones scored GW's first six points in the extra session, and a pair of free throws with 2:58 left gave GW the lead for good, 69-67, and Nipe followed with her fourth three of the game to make it a five-point contest.
Saint Joseph's began fouling with 55 seconds to go, and Jackson and Schaible combined to make six of 10 free throws down the stretch. The Hawks' Ashley Robinson was fouled with 12 seconds left and made her first free throw but missed the second, but Shields got the rebound. Following a Saint Joseph's timeout, Shields had two opportunities to tie the game but missed both three-point attempts and GW held on for the 82-79 win.
After shooting 30 percent in the first half, the Colonials shot 51.5 percent in the second half and overtime, including 5-of-7 in the extra session, when they outscored SJU, 19-16.
Fairbanks led five Hawks in double figures with 19 points, while Shields scored 17, but the A-10 leader in three-pointers made was just 3-for-12 from long distance. Cloud totaled 13 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
The Colonials outrebounded the Hawks, 44-34, including 17-10 on the offensive glass.