PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/20/2018 – Each team came in with the same record, league and overall. Statistics quite similar. The winner would be alone in 5th place with one more league game to play. There was a lot riding on the game, and it was no surprise that it went down to the end. The George Washington Colonials won their fifth straight game over the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 49 – 46 at the Hagan Arena.
“It was what we expected, a defensive battle, a possession game,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “We had opportunities down the stretch, but didn’t convert.”
GWU took the lead early, and held on to it. Saint Joe’s showed resiliency in coming back late to tie the game at 41 on a layup by Hawk forward Amanda Fioravanti, two of her team-high eleven points, with 7:12 to play. The Colonials untied it on a three-pointer by Camilia Tapias, who scored 11 points. SJU fought back to tie the game at 44 on a jumper by forward Chelsea Woods at the 4:19 mark. The Colonials took the lead for good on a steal by Kelli Prange and a three-point play by Brianna Cummings, who had 11 points, with 2:34 on the clock. Saint Joe’s got to within a point one more time. Turnovers and points off turnovers were a key as GWU had a 21 – 9 advantage from SJU miscues.
“When a team scores 21 points off your turnovers, you’re limiting the possessions and not getting great shots,” Griffin said.
Still, the game came down to one more possession. Saint Joseph’s got the ball to Sarah Veilleux open in the corner, but her three was off the mark as time ran out.
“I thought she got a nice look,” Griffin said about the last shot by Veilleux, who scored 10 points. “She is one of our better three-point shooters and a big target. All you want is a chance, and it was a chance.”
The Hawks had their four game winning streak snapped, and fall to 14 – 13, 9 – 6 in conference. Saint Joe’s closes the regular season Saturday at Fordham before hosting a first round game. The seeding and opponent is still to be determined.
George Washington improves t0 15 – 12 overall, and is 10 – 5 in the Atlantic 10. The Colonials, presently the five seed, still has a chance to earn the four seed.
The final standings and tie breakers will sort themselves out on Saturday. Then it is time for post season play.
Written By: Glenn Papazian
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