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Atlantic 10 Championship Highlights: GW 75, Dayton 62

The George Washington Colonials earned their first Atlantic 10 Tournament championship since 2003 and clinched their first ticket to the NCAA Tournament since 2008 with a thrilling 75-62 victory over Dayton yesterday at the Richmond Coliseum. In case you missed it, here are the highlights, courtesy of RaiseHigh TV with WRGW’s Jeff Pawling and Mike Martenak on the call.

And in case you were wondering where the Colonials will be traveling for the Big Dance, the latest Bracketology from ESPN’s Charlie Creme doesn’t have GW traveling anywhere. In fact, Creme has the Colonials hosting first and second round matchups at the Charles E. Smith Center. So get ready, because GW basketball on Tex Silverman Court may not be done just yet.

But for now, congratulations to the 2015 Atlantic 10 Champion George Washington Colonials! The official bracket and seedings for the NCAA Tournament will be revealed on Monday, March 16th at 7 pm on ESPN.

Atlantic 10 Championship: GW vs. Dayton

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#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
Click Here to Listen Live

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.

Atlantic 10 Semifinal Highlights: GW 72, Fordham 60

In case you missed it, highlights from earlier today where GW defeated Fordham 72-60 to advance to tomorrow afternoon’s Atlantic 10 Championship Game.

Credit to RaiseHigh TV for putting together the highlight package, with WRGW’s Mike Martenak and Jeff Pawling providing commentary.

Atlantic 10 Semifinals: GW vs. Fordham

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#1 George Washington Colonials (27-3, 15-1 A10) vs. #4 Fordham Rams (20-10, 11-5 A10)
11 AM, Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA
Media: WRGW, CBS Sports Network
Announcers: Mike Martenak, Jeff Pawling
Click Here to Listen Live

The top-seeded Colonials took care of business on Friday morning in Richmond, getting some much awaited payback on the only A10 team to beat them in the regular season, Saint Louis. GW held off a late charge from the Billikens to win 77-63, behind 24 points from Caira Washington and Jonquel Jones‘ 18th double-double of the season (14 points, 15 rebounds), to advance to the Atlantic 10 semifinals.

In the semis, the Colonials will face the fourth-seeded Fordham Rams, who emerged from a dogfight with fifth-seeded Richmond 46-45. In GW’s lone meeting with Fordham this season back on February 21st at the Smith Center, the Rams stayed with GW for a half before Jonquel Jones transformed into Michael Jordan in the second half and turned in a record-setting performance. Jones set a new school record for most consecutive field goals made in a single game as she finished a perfect 10-10 from the field (2-2 from beyond the arc) for 22 points in just 18 minutes of action in an 83-65 win. Washington had paced the Colonials in the first half en route to an 18-point performance and Kelli Prange also chipped in 12 points in the win.

The Colonials heavily utilized their trio of top-notch bigs in the first meeting with Fordham. That will most likely be the formula for victory in the rematch. Fordham is a well-coached, fundamentally sound squad, but at least in the first game, the Rams did not have the height or physicality to stick with the Colonials for a full 40 minutes. Both teams will enter with the same amount of rest so the fatigue element should be relatively moot. If GW can replicate the game plan they used to wear down the Rams in the first game, there is no reason why the Colonials cannot take care of business against Fordham a second time and advance to the Atlantic 10 Championship Game.

WRGW’s coverage with Mike Martenak and Jeff Pawling begins at 10:50 with tip off scheduled for 11 am on gwradio.com.