#1 George Washington Colonials (28-3, 15-1 A10) vs. #2 Dayton Flyers (25-5, 14-2 A10)
1 PM, Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA
Media: WRGW, ESPNU/WatchESPN
Announcers: Jeff Pawling, Mike Martenak
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After 31 games, including 15 regular season conference wins, a regular season conference championship, and two tournament wins this weekend, the top-seeded George Washington Colonials will lay it all on the line in the Atlantic 10 Championship Game against the second-seeded Dayton Flyers with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.
Sunday’s championship game will be the third meeting between GW and Dayton, with the Colonials emerging victorious in the previous two matchups. GW’s first win over the Flyers on January 4th was considered by many to be an upset, as the Colonials rode a 24-point, 17-rebound performance from Jonquel Jones to their first A10 win of the season by a final of 69-66 at UD Arena. By the next time these two teams met on February 8th, pundits around the league knew how good GW was. The Colonials would also win that game at the Smith Center 67-56 behind an 18-point, 18-rebound performance from Jones.
However, it is tough to face any team three times in the same season, let alone beat them. Dayton is hoping that the third time’s the charm for them as they look to seek revenge for their previous two defeats to GW and complete unfinished business from last year, when as the top seed in the A10 Tournament, they were upset by Fordham in the championship game. The Colonials will need to lock down Flyers leading scorer Andrea Hoover, considered by most to be one of the two best players in the entire conference. Ally Malott, who injured her leg during the second half of Dayton’s semifinal win against Duquesne, will also need to play through the pain and be a difference-maker for the Flyers if they are to have a chance of beating GW.
Jonathan Tsipis and this Colonials team have waited a long time for this moment and now sit on the cusp of hoisting some major hardware and clinching the first automatic NCAA Tournament bid of the Tsipis era. GW is certainly clicking on the court right now and they have the blueprint for how to knock off a team many considered to be the best in the conference during the preseason. If the Colonials can stay composed and not let the moment become too big for them, there is no reason why they cannot knock off Dayton for a third time and bring the Atlantic 10 title back to Foggy Bottom.
Either way, it is shaping up to be a great game tomorrow at the Richmond Coliseum. WRGW’s coverage with Jeff Pawling and Mike Martenak begins at 12:50 with tip off scheduled for 1 pm on gwradio.com.
GW tips off its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule today with a daunting, nationally televised road contest against preseason conference favorite Dayton. The game is a matchup of the A10’s two hottest teams, with the Colonials riding a nine-game winning streak and the Flyers having won eight straight games.
The game will likely be decided down low with a battle of formidable trios. Jonquel Jones and Caira Washington combined for 39 points and 15 rebounds in the Colonials’ win at Towson and Washington has especially come alive of late, averaging 18 points on 72 percent shooting over the past three games. Jones and Washington, along with Kelli Prange off the bench, will need to set the tone early and shut down the Flyers’ frontcourt composed of Ally Malott and Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova, with Saicha Grant-Allen off the bench. Malott could especially create issues for GW, as she enters as the fifth leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 with 15.8 points per game. Cornelie-Sigmundova is more of a defensive specialist, averaging a little under three blocks a contest.
The backcourt is the area where Dayton could separate themselves from GW, especially at home. The Flyers’ guards are led by Andrea Hoover, the A10’s second leading scorer with 20.3 points per game. Hoover is coming off a 29 point, eight assist performance at Central Michigan, a come-from-behind 98-89 win for the Flyers and I would not be surprised if Hannah Schaible picks up the defensive assignment on Hoover for the majority of this game. Shutting her down is imperative if GW wants to have any chance of picking up the road win.
It should be a fun one in Dayton today and we’ll have you covered from start to finish, with WRGW’s coverage beginning at 3:15 and tip off scheduled for 3:30 pm on gwradio.com.