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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Women’s basketball tops Villanova for second straight come-from-behind win

Graduate student Lauren Chase moves toward the basket in GW's win against Villanova. Chase was one of three Colonials scoring in double-digits, with 21 points. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Graduate student Lauren Chase moves toward the basket in GW’s win against Villanova. Chase was one of three Colonials scoring in double-digits, with 21 points. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Matt Cullen.

No team wants to be losing in a game. But being down has not bothered the Colonials lately as they pulled off their second straight come from behind victory Sunday against Villanova.

GW was down five points with just under six minutes to play in the game. An animated Colonials squad (7-4) then went on a 13-0 run to pull ahead to the eventual 78-70 win over the Wildcats (5-4).

“After Villanova was up five, we stuck to our game plan,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We had the resiliency to really step up in the fourth quarter and be sound defensively, not give up any threes and be able to take advantage of our rebounding.”

Senior forward Jonquel Jones was able notch her eighth consecutive double-double as she totaled a team high 23 points and 15 rebounds. Jones has now won three A-10 Player-of-the-Week awards in a row and is on a roll for the Colonials. Despite her high rebounding numbers today, she recorded less than her NCAA-leading average of 15.9 per game.

Jones has been a big part of the Colonials’ rebounding numbers so far this season. GW is the only NCAA team to average more than 50 rebounds per game at 51.4 compared to their opponents at 34.6 per game. The rebounding dominance did not stop against Villanova as they were able to outrebound the Wildcats 46-29 including 18-8 on the offensive glass.

Since Villanova is a three-point shooting team, Tsipis recognized the importance of guard rebounding today.

Senior Jonquel Jones goes up for a layup in the Colonials' win over Villanova. Jones leads GW with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Senior Jonquel Jones goes up for a layup in the Colonials’ win over Villanova. Jones leads GW with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

“Long shot, long rebound,” he said. “Our guards had to do a good job. It is beyond an expectation that Jonquel and [junior forward] Caira [Washington] will rebound, but making sure that our guards are there to clean that up so we can get out in our transition game.”

The game did not kick off the way the Colonials may have hoped. Two turnovers and a Villanova offensive rebound had them constantly on defense. The Wildcats offense was built around screens at the top of the key and lots of movement that had the Colonials scrambling to find a man.

Five minutes into the game a sneaky steal from graduate student guard Lauren Chase, who finished with a season-high 21 points, a three-point basket from Jones, and a block from junior guard Hannah Schaible had the Colonials back in their grove.

The rest of the first half was hectic: the ball was moving up and down the court with both teams scoring and neither dominating the game. There were baskets on seven straight possessions in the span of just a minute and a half, ending with the game knotted up at 16.

After a free throw from Schaible, Chase was able to cut to the basket and give the Colonials a 19-16 lead as the first quarter ended.

During the second frame the GW offense was able to go on a run after a basket from Washington, who had a double-double of her own with 16 points and 12 rebounds, a three-pointer from Chase and a fadeaway bucket from Jones. The consistent offensive pressure from the Wildcats did not allow the run to ever get out of hand as the half ended 36-31 in the Colonials favor.

Out of halftime, both teams stepped up the effort in their own half. The Wildcats were in a 2-3 zone and attempting to deny any passes down low to Jones or Washington. GW, led by Chase, was playing an aggressive man-to-man defense with strong help when anyone got into the lane.

Six minutes into the half things began to get chippy. Tsipis did not like way the Wildcats were being allowed to play physically with GW’s frontcourt and expressed his displeasure to the referees, picking up his first technical foul of the season.

With time winding down in the third, a layup and two free throws by freshman guard Adrianna Hahn gave Villanova the 54-51 lead, its first lead since midway through the first quarter.

The Wildcats were able to maintain that lead until there were five minutes left in the game, when the Colonials found their spark. Washington found an opening down low and was able to knock down a shot. On the other end, strong Colonial defense led to a shot clock violation.

The next time down the floor, Washington was able to find the bottom of the net again as she got fouled. This lit up the usually quiet crowd and the energy in gym was evident. She missed the ensuing free throw but sophomore guard Bri Cummings snagged the rebound and completed the and-one, bringing the game to 71-61 as the crowd erupted.

“The Smith Center is such a special place when it is loud. Both [the GW Men’s] team and my team take a lot of pride in protecting our home court. It was a great atmosphere and the crowd stayed with them even when Villanova got it to five,” Tsipis said.

For the next minute, the Colonials were in control. Down by 1- points, the Wildcats’ offense was rushing to find an answer. They ended up shooting a couple ill-advised shots, traveling without much pressure, and fouling Jones to send her to the line.

Villanova senior guard Caroline Coyer was battling all game long and was not about to stop there. She brought the Colonials lead down to five with less than a minute to go, but it was not enough.

Good game-ending free throw shooting from Jones and Chase tamed the Wildcats comeback and led to the eventual win.

“All you can ask for your team is to continue to give a great effort. I think in the first half we gave great effort. In the second half, even when we got down, I never felt like our body language showed any type of remorse that the game was not called the way we wanted it to. It was a great non-conference game between two teams that I think have NCAA aspirations,” Tsipis said.

The Colonials now have an entire week off before they face off against Iona at home next Sunday.

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