Colonials Win Overtime Thriller in Conference Quarterfinals (AUDIO)
RICHMOND, Va. — Despite being down at the half and giving up 54 percent shooting after halftime, the George Washington Colonials pulled off an 82-79 overtime win against the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship at the Richmond Coliseum on Friday.
Sophomore forward Jonquel Jones finished with a career-high 30 points to go along with 16 rebounds in 44 minutes of action. Grad students Megan Nipe and Danni Jackson each finished with 17 points, with Jackson adding seven assists.
Jonquel Jones’ third-chance putback in overtime. WRGW’s Raynell Cooper and Zach Simon broadcasting.
The game was a rubber match for these two teams, who won at each other’s home courts during the regular season. The gravity of this game was not lost on the players. Danni Jackson said she felt the emotions and the nerves of the game, but argued that “if you don’t have nerves at this stage, something’s not right. You’re not ready.” Associate Head Coach Megan Duffy said the Colonials worked hard in practice to prepare, both mentally and physically, for the tournament.
Megan Nipe’s three-pointer in overtime
After back and forth scoring, featuring a Jonquel Jones putback and a Megan Nipe three, freshman forward Caira Washington hit a jumper that gave the Colonials a 76-71 lead with 1:20 left in overtime. After a missed jumper, the Hawks took to fouling. They were able to convert on most of their offensive possessions and take advantage of four missed GW free throws in the last minute, to cut the deficit to three with possession with 9.8 seconds left. However, two three-point shot attempts by Erin Shields were unable to fall, giving GW a berth in the semifinals and a matchup with Dayton on Saturday.
Late turnovers allowed Saint Joseph’s to take a lead late in regulation, but the Colonials were able to tie it back up with free throws. Saint Joe’s had two chances to re-take the lead, the latter of them being a half-court heave by Erin Shields at the buzzer, but the second half ended with a 63-63 tie.
Saint Joseph’s led for most of the second half after coming out of the intermission up 33-30, and led by as much as five, but the Colonials first took the lead with a Danni Jackson layup at the 8:34 mark.
Coach Jonathan Tsipis remarked after the game that this was a game of “two teams that did not want to get off the floor.” The game featured 10 ties and nine lead changes, but the Hawks never led in overtime, as the Colonials shot 5-for-7 from the field.
GW had a determined mindset late in the game. Tsipis noted that they played hard because they “knew [they] still had gas in the tank.” The Colonials held Saint Joe’s to zero fast-break points in the second half and overtime, after the Hawks were able to get six in the first frame.
Jones scored GW’s first six points of overtime, as part of her fourth straight double-double and her seventh game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Colonials pulled down 44 rebounds to the Hawks’ 34.
Our exclusive post-game interview with Associate Head Coach Megan Duffy
The Colonials will make their 27th appearance in the tournament semifinals, but just their first since 2008. The game against Dayton will be the third matchup between these teams, with the last game coming a week ago at GW, a Colonials win. That game tips at 11 a.m. and can be heard on WRGW District Radio.