Colonials Win NCAA Opener

March 23, 2003

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AP Sports Writer

NORMAN, Okla. - Cathy Joens had 22 points, 14 in the second half when George Washington held off an Oklahoma rally to beat the Sooners 71-61 Sunday night in the first round of the Mideast Regional.

The seventh-seeded Colonials (25-6) will play No. 2 seed Villanova on Tuesday night. Villanova beat St. Francis, Pa., 51-36.

Oklahoma (19-13) reached the NCAA title game last year and the round of 16 the two years before that. But the Sooners were undone in part by 22 turnovers.

Ugo Oha had 14 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks for George Washington. Anna Montanana scored 19.

Maria Villarroel led Oklahoma with 26 points.

The Sooners led by three at halftime and led 34-31 early in the second half before George Washington went on a 19-2 run. Joens hit three 3-pointers during the spurt, which saw Oklahoma turn it over five straight times at one point.

Trailing 53-41, Oklahoma put together a run of its own, outscoring the Colonials 13-2 in a span of four minutes to get within one, 55-54, with 7:53 remaining. But the Sooners then went seven straight possessions without scoring and George Washington built a 62-54 lead.

A steal and layup by Dionnah Jackson got Oklahoma within four, 64-60, with 2:43 remaining, but the Sooners got no closer.

Oklahoma outrebounded the Colonials 39-29, but went just 11-of-19 from the free throw line. George Washington was 18-of-20.



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