George Washington women’s basketball takes down A-10 leading Dayton

By Yoni Monat

Three George Washington women’s basketball players recorded double-doubles as the Colonials handed No. 21 Dayton its second loss of the 2013-14 campaign on Sunday. GW eventually prevailed in a back-and-forth, 88-79 victory in the two squads’ Atlantic 10 regular-season finale.

“We had the confidence that coming in here we weren’t going to give a game away,” George Washington coach Jonathan Tsipis told The Washington Post. “We were going to try to take it any single possible way we could.”

With several players participating in their final home games, the Colonials (20-9, 11-5 A-10) became the sixth A-10 team to notch at least 20 victories in a well-balanced effort, dominating the league’s No. 2 rebounding team in the conference 49-34 on the glass, including a 19-12 advantage on the offensive boards.

GW graduate student Megan Nipe, among those playing in front of the Smith Center faithful for the last time, said that all the players treated the game against the Flyers (21-6, 14-2 A-10) with particular importance.

“I think we prepared very well for it. We were well-rested and had a game plan that was clearly effective,” Nipe told The Washington Post. “The second we stepped onto the court, it just felt right, and we were all ready to go.”

The Colonials sprinted to a 32-18 advantage during the first half, with Nipe draining two 3-pointers during a 12-0 run. Dayton responded, trimming the deficit to 41-37 at halftime. The Flyers trailed until Celeste Edwards and Andrea Hoover buried back-to-back 3-pointers to provide the visitors with a 56-53 edge with 12 minutes, 53 seconds remaining.

The contest remained a nail-biter with 6:33 left and GW clinging to a one-point advantage. However, the Colonials took control with a 9-2 run and never relinquished the upper hand, sinking 5-of-6 free throws with less than 30 seconds left in regulation to seal their upset victory.

GW sophomore Jonquel Jones led the team with a 22-point, 13-rebound effort. Nipe (four 3-pointers) and freshman Caira Washington (12 rebounds) each poured in 18 points and graduate student Danni Jackson contributed 17 points and 12 assists. Edwards paced Dayton with 22 points.

“It’s really an exciting day for Meg and myself,” Jackson told the The Washington Post. “We’ve been through so much here at GW, so to beat Dayton at home while they’re the number one seed in our conference and regular season champs, it felt really good.”

Both Dayton (No. 1 seed) and George Washington (No. 4) receive byes in the first round of the A-10 Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Richmond, Va.

Dayton’s Hoover earns A-10 Player of the Year

Hoover received the 2014 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year award on Tuesday.
Leading Dayton to a regular-season conference title, the junior guard averaged 16.9 points per game, which was fourth most in the conference.

Flyers coach Jim Jabir told the Richmond (VA) Post-Dispatch that Hoover is not marvelously athletic, but her intangibles more than compensate.

“She gets the most out of everything she has, probably because she’s the toughest kid I’ve ever been around,” Jabir said. “We tell her what we need her to do and she tries her best to do it.”

Hoover credited her teammates for contributing to her individual accomplishment and the squad’s success.

Teammate and junior forward Ally Malott joined Hoover on the All A-10 First Team, along with St. Bonaventure sophomore forward Katie Healy, VCU senior forward Robyn Parks and Fordham senior guard Erin Rooney. The Bonnies’ Jim Crowley took home the Coach of the Year award.

The awards were selected by the league’s 10 coaches following the regular season, which concluded on Sunday.

Yoni Monat can be reached at [email protected]