No. 17/17 GW Tips Off A-10 Play With Xavier on ESPN2
Jan. 11, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC - No. 17/17 George Washington puts its seven-game winning streak on the line in its Atlantic 10 Conference opener against Xavier in front of a national ESPN2 audience Sunday at Charles E. Smith Athletic Center.
The Colonials posted the fifth undefeated regular season in Atlantic 10 history in 2007 (14-0) and have won 16 consecutive regular season games versus league foes, including a 67-55 victory over the Musketeers in an ESPN2 game last January. GW also has won six straight at Smith Center, nine consecutive conference openers and 599 games since the program's inception in 1975.
Sunday's game promotion is "Pack the House," a NCAA sponsored competition to raise attendance at women's basketball games. GW will compete against other participating A-10 programs to see which school can draw the most fans. With fans' help, GW could eventually go up against 31 other conference winners with the chance to be crowned grand champion of the promotion.
The A-10 on Friday announced its first-ever Attendance Challenge for the 2008 conference season. The institution which averages the highest attendance totals for its home Conference games will be declared the league's first-ever Challenge winner. The Challenge encourages each institution to use various promotions and creative campaigns to help increase community interest during the Conference season.
GW wrapped its non-conference schedule with a 98-22 dismantling of Brown on Jan. 6. Five players reached double-figures for the third time this season and second time in the last three games, led by senior Whitney Allen's career-high-tying 16 points. The Colonials set the program and A-10 record for largest margin of victory (76 points), broke the school mark for single-game shooting percentage (66.7 percent) and tied the school record with 13 three-pointers.
Meetings between GW and Xavier have proven to be intense, hard-fought battles, especially in recent years. Since the 1997-98 season, no team has won more than two consecutive games in the series and three times in the past 14 games the two schools have duked it out in overtime, including a quadruple-overtime thriller (94-92 XU) at the Cintas Center on Feb. 9, 2003. That 60-minute contest matches 10 others as the longest in NCAA Division I history. 11 of the series' 27 games have been decided by nine points or less.
Xavier defeated No. 7 Georgia, 65-66, in its non-conference finale in Cincinnati, OH, on Jan. 6, marking the Musketeers biggest victory since knocking off No. 3 Tennessee in the Mideast Regional semifinal during the 2001 NCAA Tournament. Like GW, Xavier has knocked off two ranked opponents so far this season, the other being No. 24 North Carolina State, 51-49, in Raleigh, NC, on Dec. 4.
GW and Xavier have one common opponent from this season - Kentucky. The Colonials beat the Wildcats, 75-65, on Nov. 14, while the Musketeers handled UK, 51-46, on New Years Day. Sophomore Amber Harris leads a trio of double-digit scorers with 15.4 ppg and adds 8.4 rpg. Seven-time A-10 Rookie of the Week Ta'Shia Phillips paces the team with 11.6 rpg and pours in 13.9 ppg. Phillips is in the Top 10 in the nation in rebounding and field goal percentage (61.8 percent).