Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Junior Jonquel Jones was selected as one of 52 All-Region nominees for the 2015 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team after posting 20 double-doubles, the most in the A-10 and 10th-most in the NCAA, over the course of the season. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.

Junior Jonquel Jones was selected as one of 52 All-Region nominees for the 2015 WBCA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team after posting 20 double-doubles, the most in the A-10 and 10th-most in the NCAA, over the course of the season. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rob Bartnichak.

Women’s basketball junior Jonquel Jones was nominated for the 2015 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division I All-America Team, the WBCA announced Wednesday.

Jones is GW’s first All-America regional finalist since Kimberly Beck in 2008. She is one of 12 nominees from Region I, and one of 52 candidates overall.

Jones was the only player in the Atlantic 10 conference to average a double-double. She was sixth in the nation with 12.5 rebounds per game and sixth in the conference with 15.3 rebounds per game. She also ranked fourth in the league with 1.9 blocks per game and tenth with a 47.8 percent shooting percentage.

This would not be Jones’s first recognition of the season. She was a one of 30 midseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy, won both A-10 Player and Defensive Player of the Year and won seven A-10 Player of the Week awards during the season. She was also named Most Outstanding Player of the A-10 Championship.

The 2015 WBCA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team will be announced on April 4.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Marty Fenn.

The softball team suffered a double dose of losses in its Atlantic 10 opener against La Salle on Sunday, after entering conference play with eight wins in a row.

Freshman Sarah Costlow started both games in the circle for the Colonials (13-10, 0-2 A-10), who lost the first game 10-1 in five innings and dropped the nightcap 3-1 despite a complete game from Costlow.

“[In the first game], [Costlow] was falling behind a lot of hitters, whether it was 2-0 or 3-1, and then she would give up a hit,” GW head coach Stacey Schramm said. “She’s a freshman, and it was conference play, so I don’t know if she just had some butterflies and needed to get it out of her system.”

The Explorers (3-6, 2-0 A-10) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with Costlow surrendering a hit batter and two walks to go along with a pair of singles.

La Salle began to pour it on in the third, knocking Costlow out of the game after a two-RBI, bases-loaded double that followed a walk and a pair of singles. Sophomore Paige Kovalsky relieved the freshman and surrendered a bases-clearing double that extended the Explorers’ lead to 8-0.

The Colonials would get on the board after a double from junior Morgan Matetic that would eventually lead to junior Carlee Gray’s run-scoring double play. It would not prove enough, however, as the Explorers tacked on two more runs in the fifth because of three walks and a hit batter.

“We need to limit free bases, and that’s always been an issue for us,” Schramm said. “Ten of their runs in the first game were people who got on base by either getting hit or walked, and you can’t win games like that.”

In addition to breaking an eight-game winning streak for the Colonials, the loss also ended Costlow’s seven-game winning streak.

The Explorers jumped on Costlow early in game after a lead-off home run from Michelle Hagarty in the first. Then there were two more runs in the third inning on a walk and two hits.

The Colonials got on the board in the fifth after an RBI single by senior Victoria Valos and threatened in the sixth after Gray’s triple. However, she was stranded, and the Colonials fell 3-1.

Regardless of the strong stretch prior to this weekend, Schramm said the Colonials have struggled at the plate in recent games.

“We haven’t been our best lately… We haven’t really been stringing our hits together,” Schramm said.

Costlow’s complete game was marked by three runs on six hits and five strikeouts. Valos has now reached base for 13 consecutive games, marking a tie for the program record held by Elana Meyers Taylor.

With two non-conference games slated for this week before A-10 play resumes against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, Schramm also preached the need to do the little things offensively to ensure success moving forward.

“[We need to] work on executing, looking for pitches where we can move a base runner instead of getting our own hit,” she said. “It’s easier said than done, but we’re going to work on that situational hitting.”

The Colonials will host Dartmouth (5-11) on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

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Freshman guard Darian Bryant will transfer from the men’s basketball team, an athletics communications staff member confirmed Tuesday.

Bryant’s transfer was first announced on Twitter by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Bryant averaged 1.2 points in 5.4 minutes per game during his rookie season at GW. He was pegged as a potential contributor at the beginning of the season but struggled to match his defensive skill on the offensive end. He shot 36 percent and, though he saw early minutes in several games, classmate Paul Jorgensen took over many of the minutes Bryant had been playing as the season progressed.

The Bowie, Md. product becomes the second member of the team to transfer following GW’s NIT second-round exit on Sunday. News that sophomore guard Nick Griffin would transfer broke Monday.

Their departures leave head coach Mike Lonergan with two extra scholarships to try to add a transfer or additional freshman recruit to the team next year or to award a current walk-on player.

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Sophomore shooting guard Nick Griffin has elected to transfer from the men’s basketball team.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted Monday that Griffin would transfer and an athletics communications staff member confirmed that the Rockville, Md. native would be leaving the program.

Griffin saw limited minutes in his two years with the program and was used as a three-point specialist. This past season, he averaged 2.6 points in 7.9 minutes per game after averaging 1.8 points in 4.8 minutes per game as a freshman when he shot 48 percent from beyond the arc. His three-point shooting percentage dropped to 36 percent during his sophomore year.

Griffin, who suffered from the lack of spacing on the court this season but struggled with inconsistency in his shot, was the only sophomore on the team and the sole player remaining from head coach Mike Lonergan’s 2013-14 rookie class. Then-freshmen Miguel Cartagena and Skyler White both transferred at the end of that season.

The departure of Griffin frees up a spot for Lonergan to go after a late, unsigned high school senior to join the class of 2019 or to try to land a transfer student. Lonergan signed Maurice Creek as a transfer from Indiana before the 2013-14 season and Tyler Cavanaugh out of Wake Forest last summer.

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Senior John Kopriva struggles for the ball between two Temple defenders. Kopriva played his final game for the men's basketball team Sunday as No. 5 seed GW fell to No. 1 seed Temple in the second round of the NIT. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Senior John Kopriva struggles for the ball between two Temple defenders. Kopriva played his final game for the men’s basketball team Sunday as No. 5 seed GW fell to No. 1 seed Temple in the second round of the NIT. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

PHILADELPHIA – They teased, they beckoned and they hinted at a comeback. But it’s over.

Men’s basketball’s season ended Sunday in a 90-77 loss to Temple in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

The Colonials finished the season 22-13 overall and 1-1 as a No. 5 seed in the tournament on the No. 1 seed Owls’ home court.

“I’m disappointed because today was like our season,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “Kethan really played well offensively today. Kevin played pretty well, and then a couple other guys had really rough games, so consistency has been the thing. We’ve lacked consistency in our season.”

At first, it looked like they would go easily. Temple (25-10, 2-0 NIT) shot out to a 9-0 lead and was quickly ahead by 15 at 20-5. Jesse Morgan, who finished the game 7-12 with 20 points, was outpacing the entire GW offense when Temple made it 22-9.

The Colonials started to chip away. GW cut the lead to eight after a 5-0 run with a three from Joe McDonald followed by a strong move to the basket for Kethan Savage, who finished the game with 25 points followed by Kevin Larsen’s 19.

“I’m definitely disappointed,” Savage said. “I was really excited coming into the game because I thought definitely everybody was ready to play.”

GW also forced a pair of rare turnovers in the stretch from the Owls, who rank ninth in Division I for the least giveaways at 9.8 per game, though the turnover margin ended even with eight for each team.

Temple was still up by 12 with 1:20 left until the break, but in the final minute of the half, Savage shot down a triple from an empty corner. The Colonials pressured Morgan into a bad three-point attempt on the other end and Savage swept up the rebound. Then Yuta Watanabe got his first points of the game from the field with GW’s second three-pointer in a row, and the Colonials had cut the lead to six with 22 seconds before halftime.

But then Savage fouled Temple’s Quenton DeCosey shooting a three-pointer, and DeCosey hit 2-3 from the line to put the lead back at eight going into the half.

Considering where GW had come back from, it was the type of momentum-stealer that caused Lonergan to tag it “the worst play of the game.” But in the beginning of the second half, GW started to look like a team playing to extend its season.

Freshman Yuta Watanabe scored 15 points in GW's 90-77 loss to Temple on Sunday. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Freshman Yuta Watanabe scored 15 points in GW’s 90-77 loss to Temple on Sunday. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Watanabe hit a three, then a layup for five points in the first minute and a half of the second half. Larsen pulled the Colonials within three at 40-37, the closest GW had been since the opening of the game, with a pair of makes from the free-throw line.

But that was Temple’s wake-up call. The Owls made back-to-back buckets and midway through the half were back hovering around a 10-point lead. One game after Will Cummings scored a season-high 30 points against Bucknell in Temple’s NIT first-round win, he led the team again with 21 points, including an 8-8 mark at the free-throw line.

“When we’re trying to play a containment defense and takeaway Cummings’ penetration and they just killed us off the boards, that wears you down,” Lonergan said.

Time after time, the Colonials looked like they were getting back in the game. Savage, Watanabe and Larsen made three straight three-point plays for the Colonials, but Devin Coleman, working off the bench, came in with an answer to each one of them.

Coleman’s tip-in, strong defensive rebound and layup put Temple back up by 12 with 7:49 to go. The Owls controlled the rebounding margin 38-26 and 14-8 off the offensive glass.

“We had some pretty good defensive stops, you think about two of our guys that usually rebound, Yuta had one and Joe had one,” Lonergan said. “Those guys are getting four to eight rebounds each, so it’s hard to overcome.”

And with five minutes left, they were back up by 15. Coleman had played 11 minutes and had 11 points. Temple brought the lead to 18 until Larsen hit his second three of the night, bringing senior John Kopriva to his feet on the bench.

It would be Kopriva’s final game as a Colonial, but the lead was too much to overcome.

The women’s basketball team’s coaching staff, having also felt the sting of a disappointing postseason exit on Friday in the NCAA Tournament’s first round, made the trip to Philadelphia. Though they were denied a celebration for the second time, this season marked the second straight year that both GW basketball teams have reached the postseason.

“I’m happy with what they did, but they had some goals when they came in that we haven’t reached those goals yet so this offseason is huge for us,” Lonergan said. “I’m excited about the future, I feel bad for John Kopriva but I am happy we only lose one senior.”

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The Colonials react to the news that they will be a six seed in the NCAA tournament. GW lost its first NCAA Tournament game since 2008 Friday, falling to Gonzaga in Corvallis, Ore. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

The Colonials react to the news that they will be a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. GW lost its first NCAA Tournament game since 2008 on Friday, falling to Gonzaga in Corvallis, Ore. File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rob Bartnichak.

After a program-record 29 wins, women’s basketball’s historic season has come to a close.

Sixth-seeded GW dropped its NCAA Tournament first-round game to No. 11 seed Gonzaga 82-69 Friday night in Corvallis, Ore.

“It’s sad that it’s come to an end,” senior Chakecia Miller said. “This group of girls is amazing to play with on the court and knowing that it’s over, it hurt pretty bad.”

Sophomore Hannah Schaible and freshman Kelli Prange tied for the team lead with 13 points and each added seven rebounds. Junior Jonquel Jones recorded her 20th double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Sophomore Shannon Cranshaw scored 11 points and tallied three rebounds.

The Colonials went into the half down 40-25 and were unable to make up the difference in the second despite outscoring Gonzaga 44-42. GW closed the gap to seven points with 39 seconds to play, but Gonzaga hit 6-6 from the free-throw line to secure the victory.

GW shot 29 percent from the field and went 5-19 from three-point range for the game. But Gonzaga shot 42.3 percent from the field and went 9-18 from beyond the arc, sharp shooting its way to victory.

The Colonials dominated on the glass, outrebounding Gonzaga 51-39 and holding a 26-16 scoring advantage in the paint and a 23-9 advantage there in the second half. But the Zags’ perfect record winning the turnover margin wouldn’t go away, and the Colonials’ Achilles’ heel hurt them on the big stage. GW surrendered 27 points on 19 turnovers, though the team scored 17 points on 17 Gonzaga turnovers.

GW also struggled with foul trouble for the majority of the game. Sophomore Caira Washington fouled out with seven minutes left in the game after scoring five points and recording four rebounds. Jones finished with four fouls after tallying three in the first half. Schaible and senior Lauren Chase also finished the game with four fouls.

“I think we allowed our frustrations on offense to take some of our intensity and the ability to anticipate on the defensive end in the first half,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

In the first half, Schaible led the team with nine points and added four rebounds. Jones and Prange tied for the team lead with five rebounds each.

GW struggled from the field in the opening half, shooting only 23 percent from there and 0-5 from beyond the arc, compared to Gonzaga’s 43.8 percent shooting percentage. Despite holding a 24-20 rebounding advantage, the Colonials were outscored 16-10 in the paint and 9-6 on the second chance. GW also gave up 16 points on 12 first-half turnovers.

“We wanted to go out playing our best basketball,” Tsipis said. “I don’t think we did that in the first half the way we’re capable of.”

Despite the first-round exit, there’s still plenty of optimism going around the locker room. The Zags were the cooler team, accustomed to the NCAA Tournament environment. The Colonials were in the Big Dance for the first time since 2008.

“This season felt great,” Jones said. “This is our first time playing in the NCAA Tournament, so everyone got a taste of it and we need to build on it for next year.”

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The Colonials won their first NIT game in program history Tuesday, topping Pitt on the road. The NIT is experimenting with a 30-second shot clock in tournament games this year. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer.

The Colonials won their first NIT game in program history Tuesday, topping Pitt on the road. The NIT is experimenting with a 30-second shot clock in tournament games this year. Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

Just before halftime, legendary Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun talked about the duo of rule changes in place for the National Invitational Tournament. In likely preparation for an NCAA rule change, the NIT is experimenting this year with a 30 second shot clock instead of a 35 second one. The tournament has also put in place a 4-foot restricted area arc in place of the 3-foot one.

“We got to get attacking again. When that’s normal, that’s not good,” the former Huskies coach said about the widespread slow-paced offense in college basketball.

It has been well-documented how scoring output has been way down this year. It is approaching near record lows, averaging below 70 points per game. The pace of the game has slowed up, true by the numbers and by the eye-test.

Enter the NIT for observation.

In the first round of the tournament the 32 teams who did not make the cut for the Big Dance averaged 71 points per game. The winning team averaged 76.25 points and five different teams scored over 80 points. People like three-time National Champion coach Calhoun are excited. The pace of the game has picked up and with good reason.

When the Colonials played their first round game at Pittsburgh Tuesday evening on ESPN players, coaches and fans saw some of the potential effects.

By the box score it barely looked effective or pretty: the final was 60-54 GW. GW scored about seven points below their season average, but Pittsburgh missed theirs by roughly 13. The Colonials shot 33.3 percent in the game and the Panthers shot 48.9 percent. The argument by the numbers is pretty poor that the game was enhanced offensively by the 30 second shot clock.

Pitt said they barely prepared for the change, the players citing that they normally practice with a 30 second shot clock. There were questions of how much of an effect it had on the game.

“I don’t know. It was interesting. I thought about that afterwards. It didn’t seem to have a lot of effect,” Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon said. “I think it’s something we’re going to see. I think it’s something that’s going to be put into play shortly, so get used to it.”

GW, however, enjoyed it, led by junior Kethan Savage who had a team-high 17 points off the bench. Since moved as the sixth man he has been up and down. In the first round of the NIT Savage said he knew Pitt likely didn’t have time to scout him, so he was ready to do his thing.

“I think it helped us. We played a faster pace, moving the ball up and down, move the ball around and not let the ball stay. I think it helps us a lot to get better shots,” Savage said.

He had 14 of 17 points in the first half and attacked all game. It’s his normal means of scoring, but he said the shortened shot clock gave him a little extra incentive to try to score.

But turn to junior Patricio Garino to see the real benefit of the 30 second shot clock for GW. Garino’s modus operandi is defense and though the highlight next to his name Tuesday night was his 1,000th career point, it came courtesy of a Pitt turnover which he turned into easy fast break points.

“We were mentally prepared for 30 seconds and we knew we didn’t need to repeat what we did in A-10 Tournament with the shot clock,” Garino said.

It’s a bit counterintuitive that a shortened shot clock, designed to promote offense, would benefit defense, but that has been the case for the Colonials.

The quickened game seemed to help Garino get in a groove and allowed GW to do what they do best this year: Defend.

In his four years as GW’s head coach, Mike Lonergan’s teams have averaged 67.1 points. Last year, with the dynamic inside-outside threats of Isaiah Armwood and Maurice Creek, the Colonials averaged 73.0 points per game. When Lonergan was at Vermont for six years, his teams averaged 70.2 points.

This year’s average is 67.0 points, though and GW has relied on varying defenses throughout the year, often designed to wear down the shot clock. In their biggest wins, like against Wichita State, their defense starred by doing just that, forcing desperate shots at the end of possessions.

But GW’s defense got a new injection of flow and energy from the faster pace – they used it to force 16 turnovers – even if the shots weren’t falling.

When GW heads to Philadelphia to play Temple Sunday morning they will likely again embrace the shortened shot clock – on the defensive side. It could play out as an advantage throughout the NIT and perhaps into next season.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

What: NCAA Tournament first round, No. 6-seed women’s basketball vs. No. 11-seed Gonzaga

When: Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore., ESPN2

After receiving an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament as Atlantic 10 conference championships and winning 27 out their last 28 games, the Colonials are back in the Big Dance for the first time since 2008.

The Colonials (29-3, 15-1 A-10) will matchup against veteran team Gonzaga (24-7, 16-2 WCC) in the first round of competition. The Bulldogs received an at-large bid to obtain their seventh straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. Friday’s contest will also mark the first meeting between the two programs.

The Case for Gonzaga:

The Zags can score. Gonzaga boasts the top offense in the West Coast Conference, scoring an average of 71.4 points per game.

Guard Keani Albanez contributes 12.8 of those points per game, and is devastating from the free throw line where she holds a .867 shooting mark for the season. She’s a stat-sheet stuffer, boasting 71 assists and 73 steals on the season to go along with her scoring.
Albanez is the standout, but Gonzaga is fifth in the nation overall from the charity stripe where they make 77 percent of their shots, a program record.

That kind of poise is unlikely to dissipate under the bright lights of March given Gonzaga’s experience, but the Colonials will have to be careful. One of GW’s few problem areas has been turnovers, and the Zags are 13-0 when winning the turnover margin.

Despite the Bulldogs being the lower seed, the crowd could also work in their favor. Though the Colonials were on the top-20 list in February of teams likely to host their first NCAA Tournament games, falling to a six seed meant traveling across the country for GW while Gonzaga will remain in the Pacific Northwest.

The Case for GW:

But even though they are going far away from home, the Colonials are favored to win the game as the higher seed, and many projections had them seeded even higher before selection Monday.

GW’s +13.9 rebound-margin ranks first in the nation and will be tough to match for the Bulldogs, who average a healthy 40.2 mark off the glass but are still dwarfed by the Colonials’ 47.6.

Junior Jonquel Jones, who will be playing in her first NCAA Tournament, has been the key component in GW’s success so far and has 19 double-doubles on the season. Her 12.4 rebounds per game, sixth in the nation, should be a big part of keeping the Colonials out in front.

Gonzaga’s last three opponents shot a season-low in field goal attempts against the Zags, but with Jones’ prowess off the offensive glass, especially, GW shouldn’t have that problem.

Should the Colonials win, they would move on to the second round to play the winner of No. 3-seed Oregon State (26-4, 16-2 Pac-12) and No. 14-seed South Dakota State (24-8, 12-4 Summit) on March 22.

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All the Panthers in the Pittsburgh Zoo couldn't hold back junior Kethan Savage on Tuesday night, who scored 14 points in the first half and 17 overall to lead the Colonials to their first-ever NIT win. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

All the Panthers in the Pittsburgh Zoo couldn’t hold back Kethan Savage on Tuesday night. The junior scored 14 points in the first half and 17 overall to lead the Colonials to their first-ever NIT win. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

PITTSBURGH – With just over a minute left to play in an NIT first-round matchup against Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, junior Kethan Savage found himself in a familiar position.

It was not exactly a game-on-the-line situation, but up just 55-53 with under a minute to play, the guard knew he needed to score. Dribbling at the top of the key, Savage drove halfway to the rim, pulled up and hit a step-back jumper to give GW the final field goal it desperately needed.

A few free throws later, despite shooting just 34.4 percent from the field on the night, the Colonials secured their first-ever NIT win with a 60-54 victory over the Panthers in a quiet Petersen Events Center.

“Tonight, we didn’t turn the ball over, and we made Pitt turn the ball over. That was a key stat for us,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “I knew [Pittsburgh] was going to be good defensively and play hard, but our guys responded.”

Savage would lead the Colonials off the bench with 17 points, while junior guard Patricio Garino added 14 points and a game-high four steals in the six-point win. Junior forward Kevin Larsen and junior guard Joe McDonald added seven points each, and Larsen posted a team-high nine rebounds.

“[Coming off the bench] allows me to be aggressive, and that was my mindset tonight,” Savage said. “[Pittsburgh] didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for us, and we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for them, so they didn’t know my game too well. So I just wanted to be aggressive and pick my shots.”

A layup from sophomore guard Cameron Wright opened the contest and allowed the Panthers jump out to an early lead at home. Wright would lead a Pittsburgh offense that shot 50 percent from the field in the first half with seven points in the frame.

Freshman Yuta Watanabe totaled six points and three rebounds as the Colonials topped the Panthers 60-54. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Freshman Yuta Watanabe totaled six points and three rebounds as the Colonials topped the Panthers 60-54. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Savage kept the Colonials alive before the break, hitting back-to-back threes in the game’s 14th minute. He would finish the first frame with a team-high 14 points, going five for six from the field.

The Panthers worked down low to secure a 17-12 lead midway through the first half as GW struggled to keep pace. But multiple Pittsburgh turnovers soon jolted the Colonials’ stagnant offense, which went on a 10-0 run following a Panthers missed free throw.

Larsen had two straight baskets in the double-digit run, while Garino padded a solid offensive effort in the first with six points and all of his four steals. The Colonials outscored the Panthers 15-4 off turnovers, of which they had just two, making up for a 35.3 percent clip from the field to take a 28-23 lead at halftime.

“I think we were mentally prepared,” Garino said. “We were hungry for the game and we didn’t want our season to end on a bad note.”

A resurgent Panthers squad fought back to cut its deficit to two early in the second half, but GW matched the offensive intensity throughout. Strong play by Garino and Larsen helped GW hold serve for much of the frame.

“When we struggle to score in the second half, we stop playing really hard… That’s been the frustrating thing about this season,” Lonergan said. “But tonight, even when we had some scoring droughts, our guys still grinded it out defensively, figured out ways to get to the free-throw line and get offensive rebounds.”

Pittsburgh closed within two again after junior guard James Robinson hit his team’s first three-pointer with about eight minutes to play. But senior forward John Kopriva, who finished the night with five points and four rebounds, followed suit on the other end to pull his team ahead 50-45 and add to GW’s 23.5 three-point shooting percentage.

Head coach Mike Lonergan led the Colonials to their first NIT win in program history on Tuesday night against Pitt. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Head coach Mike Lonergan led the Colonials to their first NIT win in program history Tuesday night against Pitt. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Kopriva’s bucket would be the Colonials’ last field goal until Savage’s last-minute jumper as McDonald and Garino finally made some free throws and a total of 16 Panthers’ turnovers guided GW to the win in the game’s closing seconds.

Despite the Panthers out-rebounding them 41-35 on the night, the Colonials held the edge on the offensive boards 14-6 and scored seven second-chance points to Pittsburgh’s two, a testament to the team’s determination, Lonergan said.

“Joe, Patricio and Kevin combined for 11 offensive rebounds. To me, that was just heart and effort and energy, and we had it tonight for whatever reason,” Lonergan said. “I think our guys really wanted a win and they were battling in there on the boards.”

The Colonials will play the winner of No. 1 seed Temple and No. 8 seed Bucknell in the second round of the NIT.

Freshman Paul Jorgensen celebrates after hitting a crucial three-point shot in the second half. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Freshman Paul Jorgensen celebrates after hitting a crucial three-point shot in the second half. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

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Senior attacker Jamie Bumgardner works the net in a game earlier this season. Bumgardner dished out seven assists as the Colonials took down Mount Saint Mary's on Tuesday, a new program record.  Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Senior attacker Jamie Bumgardner works the net in a game earlier this season. Bumgardner dished out seven assists as the Colonials took down Mount Saint Mary’s on Tuesday, a new program record. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ellee Watson.

After fighting for a lead throughout the first half, lacrosse retook the momentum to secure an 18-11 win over Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday afternoon.

The Colonials initiated their momentum with four minutes left in the first half after the Mount scored and increased their lead to 6-9. After the goal, Senior Rachel Quinn earned a yellow card, putting the Colonials a man down.

They responded positively: Freshman goalie Adele Wise saved a shot then passed quickly to sophomore Michaela Lynch who ran down the field and passed to sophomore Bailey Forcier who launched a shot into the back of the net.

They scored another goal a man down and one more to take the game into halftime only a goal behind at 10-9.

“I knew we needed to win,” senior Jamie Bumgardner said. “We definitely have the potential, it’s just a matter of putting it to action, so I knew that if we had a spark then that would just get our team rolling.”

Bumbgardner scored the first two goals of the second half, jumpstarting the spree. She scored three goals total and had seven assists, a new GW record.

Senior Rachel Mia scored seven goals to push her total to 22 goals this season. The single-game goal total matched the GW record she set in 2013.

Three other Colonials earned goals: Forcier scored four, Lynch scored two and junior Gabbi Hull scored two.

“We wanted to push the fat break out of transition, and I think we did a good job of that,” Head Coach Tracy Coyne said, “I think we had a good balance of fast break goals and goals in the settle.”

The Colonials put up 15 shots in both halves, but they controlled possession better in the second half, keeping the Mount to just four shots in the second half. GW controlled the draws 9-3 in the second half after the Mount won the draw controls 11-9 in the first.

The defense contributed to the momentum change significantly. In the second half, they forced the Mount to turnover the ball 13 times.

The defense in the first half was not as aggressive; they defended at a distance as the the Mount leisurely passed around the crease before storming in when they got the chance – six of their 10 goals were unassisted runs at the net.

When the Mount took the lead with eight minutes left, Coyne took starter senior Mackenzie Jones out of the net after she made zero saves and replaced her with Wise who made two saves.

“Adele did a nice job,” Coyne said, “It’s hard coming off the bench and contribute.”

The Colonials ended a three-game losing streak with the win, putting their record at 2-4.

“It’s just a matter of learning how to win, and I think we all brought it today,” Bumgardner said.

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