GW Edged by No. 7/9 Tennessee, 71-59
Dec. 3, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC - The sixth largest women's basketball crowd (3,459) in Charles E. Smith Center history saw George Washington come within a possession of taking the lead with less than five minutes to play, but No. 7/9 Tennessee used a 15-5 game-ending run to escape with a 71-59 victory Tuesday evening.
In the closest of nine all-time meetings between the programs, GW (4-3) twice pulled within two points late in the second half, the latter on senior Jazmine Adair's lay-up to make it 56-54 at the 5:00 mark. The Colonials had a chance to tie or take the lead after a Tennessee (6-1) missed three, but Jazmine Adair missed a potential game-tying lay-up and the Lady Vols made 6-of-8 free throws and banked in a jumper from the foul line to move ahead 64-56 with 2:10 to play.
Freshman Tara Booker hit her career-best fourth 3-pointer of the game with 1:44 left, but Angie Bjorklund and Alex Fuller answered with triples in the final 72 seconds to lift the Lady Vols to victory.
Booker led GW with a career-high 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Jazmine Adair finished with 12 and freshman Tiana Myers added 10. Senior Antelia Parrish grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, but struggled with a 2-of-14 shooting performance and finished with seven points.
GW held Tennessee to its second-worst shooting effort of the season at 35.3 percent, but the Lady Vols compensated with 24 second-chance points on 25 offensive rebounds and an 18-of-25 performance at the line. Glory Johnson shot just 3-of-15 from the floor, but made 10-of-12 free throws and led UT with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double. Alex Fuller had 13, Shekinna Stricklen chipped in 12 and Vicki Baugh had 10 boards and eight points.
The Colonials answered the call on each of the Lady Vols' spurts despite off nights from Parrish and senior Jessica Adair, who had just six points in 15 minutes due to foul trouble.
UT used an 8-0 run to grab a 13-point lead, 33-20, with 3:04 left in the first half. Freshman Kay-Kay Allums ended the stretch with a steal and finish, Jazmine Adair hit a shot in the lane and Booker hit her third triple of the half with three seconds to go to move GW within eight, 35-27, at the break.
After Jessica Adair picked up her fourth foul at the 15:18 mark, Tennessee quickly extended its lead back to 13, 46-33, with 14:33 left.
GW slowly climbed back, first behind Myers' four points during a 6-0 swing to get the Colonials back within single-digits at 46-39, with 12:36 to play. Sophomore Erica Rivera's baseline jumper got the Colonials to five, 50-45, with 8:19 remaining, but UT got quick baskets from Kelley Cain and Briana Bass to go back up by nine.
Parrish converted a three-point play to narrow the gap back to six, 54-48, entering the under-8 media timeout. Myers' free throws and a rainbow jumper got GW within a possession of the lead, 54-52, with 6:03 left. Stricklen scored in the lane 18 seconds later, followed by Jazmine Adair's lay-in to trim the margin back to two for the final time.
The loss snapped GW's 17-game Smith Center winning streak, which was the ninth-longest in the nation and fourth-longest in program history.
The Colonials take a two-week break for final exams before continuing their program-record seven-game homestand. GW hosts Troy Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 pm.