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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Team eyes perfect conference run

GW women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown clearly recalls the last time his team went undefeated in the Atlantic 10 because the players on that team shaved it in the back of his head. A decade later, it could be time for another haircut.

No. 9 GW (23-2, 12-0 A-10) will face a feisty Saint Joseph’s team Friday night, which sets up a match with Temple Sunday. The Owls are 12-0 and face a lowly Duquesne team Friday night, which could set up a spat between two undefeated squads.

After defeating Temple twice during the regular season last year, GW lost to the Owls 59-54 in the A-10 Tournament final. All three games were low-scoring affairs and McKeown said that he expects Sunday’s contest to be a defensive battle as well.

“You’re looking at probably the two best teams in the league so it should be fun, it should be a great atmosphere, and it should be a great game,” McKeown said.

Junior Kim Beck pointed out that the Colonials have played in big games all year and that there is no reason for the players to blow these two out of proportion.

“We obviously want to come out and win every game, and this year we’ve been successful in that so far, so we just want to capitalize on that this weekend and win the regular season championship,” Beck said.

As frustrating as last season’s loss to Temple may have been, McKeown said it has been too long to count this game as revenge.

“Each year is a little bit different,” McKeown said. “I think you move forward instead of backward, that’s what I always try to do.”

Before facing the Owls, McKeown noted that the Colonials will not overlook Saint Joe’s. After losing to the Hawks twice in 2004, including once in the A-10 Tournament when GW was a No. 1 seed, McKeown said that he has the utmost respect for Hawk coach Cindy Griffin.

“There’s no question they can catch you off-guard if you don’t come to play,” McKeown said. “They’ve always been a thorn in our side, and they’ve burned us enough over the last 17 or 18 years for us to underestimate them.”

Both teams have formidable weapons that could trip up the Colonials. Temple forward Kamesha Hairston leads the A-10 with 19.8 points per game while Saint Joe’s guard Ayahna Cornish is third with 17.2 points per game. McKeown said that the Colonials will pay some special attention to these players but will not lose sight of the teams’ other threats.

“Your game plan defensively is trying to shutdown their best players, but both Saint Joe’s and Temple have other people who can hurt you too, so you have to make sure you’re aware of that,” McKeown said. “That’s why they’re both pretty good.”

After breaking Charlotte’s 22-game home winning streak and winning at St. Louis last week to extend the Colonials’ own winning streak to 16 games, sophomore Jazmine Adair said that GW needs to take the positives from the successful road trip and move forward.

“It’s definitely a boost, but we know what’s coming up, and we just have to stay focused,” Adair said.

McKeown called for the student body to come out and show its support in both games this weekend.

“I think our players deserve that from our student body because (our players are) students too,” he said.

GW begins the weekend home stand against Saint Joe’s Friday at 7 p.m. and wraps it up against Temple Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday is also Senior Day, during which the Colonials will honor lone senior Kenan Cole.

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