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Chakecia Miller

Chakecia Miller looks to pass a ball during GW's win over Fordham. Miller had 10 points and 5 assists during the game. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Chakecia Miller looks to pass a ball during GW’s win over Fordham. Miller had 10 points and five assists during the game Saturday. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet Staff writer Alex Kist.

After a nearly silent first half, junior forward Jonquel Jones exploded in the second, tallying 16 points in five minutes to lead the Colonials to an 83-65 win over Fordham on Saturday.

The team’s leading scorer also broke GW’s standing record of 8-8 from the field set by Anna Montañana in 2003, after knocking down 10 shots in 10 attempts. Jones’ performance against Fordham marks the fourth perfect game of 5-5 or better in program history.

With solid entry passes from the guards, Jones strung together her perfect game from different angles, including two three-point plays.

“Everything just felt right. Here in the first half, things didn’t go the way I would like them to go, but my teammates kept telling me to just stay in it and my coaches kept telling me to just stay engaged on the bench,” Jones said. “And we all did what was necessary. It all came together and it was just fun.”

Jones’ game was even more impressive considering that Fordham is one of the best defensive teams in the Atlantic 10. GW’s 18-point lead at the final whistle was the largest lead Fordham has allowed all season.

Ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense, the Rams allow a league-low average of 53.3 points per game. But the Colonials controlled the tempo out of the gate and found open holes on the floor, leading to easy shots and shutting down Fordham’s usually stifling defense.

Sophomore forward Caira Washington and senior guard Chakecia Miller led the charge in the first, each hitting jumpers early, and combining for 28 points on the day.

The Rams were able to rally and bring the contest within five after an and one and another free throw, closing the gap to 18-13. But the Colonials retained the lead throughout the half and finished on top 41-35. Smart ball movement was also key throughout as GW finished the game with 21 assists and only 13 turnovers.

“I’m pleased with being able to have the maturity and focus to have a three-game stretch where you are playing three in seven days, third week of February,” Tsipis said. “It’s a taxing time. Obviously, you’ve got to take care of your body physically and mentally, but you’ve got to be sharp.”

The second half belonged to Jones, but a couple of three-pointers by sophomore guard Shannon Cranshaw and freshman forward Kelli Prange helped GW jump to a 49-38 lead.

An accurate assist by sophomore guard Hannah Schaible set up Jones for her first easy layup of the half. With GW up by 15, Fordham called a timeout to regroup and refocus.

But with momentum on the Colonials’ side, the Rams were not able to close the gap. Nine GW points in the following three minutes helped the team pull away.

Jones was instrumental in helping her team clinch a 20-point lead, its largest of the game, after a 13-point run. After Jones’ shooting streak, GW was able to finish with 42 points in the paint and a 52.2 shooting percentage.

Tsipis said selflessness is one of the greatest contributors to the team’s success this season, especially in the game against Fordham.

“Our kids did a great job today playing together,” Tsipis said. “I think the heart of our team is that we are very unselfish and willing to get the best shot.”

The Colonials return to action Thursday when they face Richmond on the road at 7 p.m.

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Junior Jonquel Jones receives the ball outside the paint in GW's last home game against Duquesne. Jones contributed a game-high 16 rebounds in GW's 67-48 win over La Salle on Saturday. The Colonials tallied 63 boards in the game, the most since 2008. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.

Junior Jonquel Jones receives the ball outside the paint in GW’s last home game against Duquesne. Jones contributed a game-high 16 rebounds in GW’s 67-48 win over La Salle on Saturday. The Colonials tallied 63 boards in the game, the most since 2008. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

Despite shooting just 27.5 percent from the field, the Colonials’ defense was able to create turnovers and dominate the glass to help earn GW a 67-48 victory at La Salle on Saturday afternoon.

Junior forward Jonquel Jones notched her seventh double-double of the season with a team-high 12 points and 16 rebounds, followed closely by freshman Kelli Prange, who added 11 points and eight rebounds.

Although La Salle was physical down low early in the first half, GW was patient and regained its footing in the paint to lead by as much as 20 points in the second. After a three from freshman Mia Farmer closed out the game, the Colonials had secured their 16th consecutive win.

“[La Salle] wasn’t really doing anything special. I just felt like our shots weren’t dropping,” Jones said. “The shots that we took in the first half were the same shots that we always take, so we needed to rely on our defense.”

To open the first frame, GW ran a man defense to test La Salle’s speed. The Explorers started with a strong tempo and were within a possession six minutes into the game, but were not able to compete against the Colonials’ pressure on defense. GW finished with 14 steals and an obscene 63 rebounds, the most in a game since 2008, with the frontcourt of Jones, sophomore Caira Washington and Prange leading the pack with a combined 32 boards.

Even when shots were not falling in the their favor, the Colonials made sure they got extra chances. The Explorers struggled to get set in the half court without coughing up the ball, which helped GW accumulate 18 points off turnovers.

“I think we had a really good awareness in the press and in the half-court defense, [we knew] where our help had to come from,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “People really understood their assignments.”

Eventually the ball did start to roll for the Colonials. As La Salle’s posts failed to be alert and ready to receive the ball, the Colonials were able to capitalize on the Explorers’ turnovers and close out the half up 35-20. The Explorers finished the game with 24 giveaways after averaging only 15 per game on the season. They had 17 at halftime.

During the break, Tsipis told his team to concentrate on getting more offensive rebounds to attain second-chance points, as his team did not execute in transition the way that he wanted them to in the first.

The Colonials listened, coming out of the break with a full-court press. Riding the momentum, back-to-back makes by Jones and sophomore guard Shannon Cranshaw forced La Salle to call a timeout with GW up by 19.

Despite being 2-8 on the season when they are trailing at the half, the Explorers began gaining momentum with three-point shooting in the second and were able close the gap to 41-31. But La Salle’s drive was short lived as players began rushing their opportunities to ultimately shoot just 25.8 percent after halftime.

A few plays later, GW’s posts spread the floor, allowing freshman guard Brianna Cummings to drive the lane. She was fouled on the way in, knocked down two shots from the line and propelled GW back to a strong, 47-31 advantage that kept growing.

With a week of practice before GW’s next contest, Tsipis said his team will work on meshing offensive execution with perimeter defense and rebounding to prepare for the upcoming schedule.

“You only get one bye during the A-10 season, and I think we spend time during the first part of the week on conditioning and getting lifts in, but its just as important that we get a mental break,” Tsipis said.

The Colonials will return to action Saturday to take on George Mason in Fairfax, Va. at 2 p.m.

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Senior guard Lauren Chase was part of a core group of perimeter defenders that held Duquesne to its lowest shooting percentage on 3-pointers since the A-10 tournament last year. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.

Senior guard Lauren Chase was part of a core group of perimeter defenders that held Duquesne to its lowest shooting percentage on 3-pointers since the A-10 tournament last year. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor.


This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

The leading scorer for the Dukes sank a 3-pointer from the top of key, draining it over the outstretched hand of Jonquel Jones.

Nothing too out of the norm for Duquesne – the Atlantic 10’s top 3-point shooting team – but it was anything but the usual Wednesday night in the Smith Center as the Colonials locked down.

“We turned it up another level today,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said of his defense.

Star guard April Robinson made her team’s first trey of the game with 5:30 to play, down 70-44. The Colonials, now ranked nationally at No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, were well on their way to their 15th straight win. Robinson hit one more in the final minutes, irrelevant in the 83-56 blowout.

The Dukes finished 2-13 from behind the line, good for 15.4 percent. Heading into the game, Duquesne was first in the conference with a 36.3 3-point field goal percentage, second in scoring offense at 74.9 points per game and near the top of many of the league’s rebounding and assists numbers. An all around good offensive team.

Their problem? They ran into a GW team that is not only tied for first with the Duke Blue Devils for the best rebounding margin in the nation, but a Colonials crew that put some defensive lapses on the road behind them and turned them into critical points at home.

Before heading out on a two-game road trip to Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Tsipis had a long talk with his players about where they were in the league defensively. But in truth it was the Colonials offense that was showcased on the trip and the team leaned on scoring potency instead of stopping their opposition.

That changed back in the Smith Center, as depth and speed caused trouble for Duquesne in the Smith Center. Guards like sophomores Hannah Schaible and Shannon Cranshaw, senior Chakecia Miller and senior Lauren Chase helped extend the GW defense. The Dukes attempted seven threes in the first half, but rarely with an open look.

“All of a sudden to know, we have the depth right now where we can play people for three and a half to four minute spurts and they can play as hard as possible and as locked in, and we’re going to get them a break,” Tsipis said. “And to be able to do that on the defensive end and then the ability to get out and run in transition.”

Schaible credited “intelligent play,” and an in depth scouting report from assistant coach Bill Ferrara shaped a diligent defense.

“Whether it’s a shooter or a driver, we were set and basically knew what we had to do to keep them at bay and win the game,” Jones said, who finished with 22 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks.

Every player on the court for Duquesne had an individual scouting report, one that prompted players to go under the screen on some ball screens and over on others, like with Robinson.

“We focused a lot on chasing them off the 3-point line so that they can’t even get those shots up,” Schaible said.

Chasing was the keyword, one that Tsipis used as well. The man to man defense spread into a full court zone for long stretches in the first half, creating turnovers and forcing shooters into an unnatural spot in the half court. Guards would often extend out to the 3-point line when defending the basket.

The last time Duquesne finished with such a low 3-point field goal percentage was against Fordham last year in the A-10 tournament, hitting 1-11 then. GW has had one of the top 3-point field defenses all season long. They are second in the conference, allowing opponents just a 26 percent accuracy rate on the three.

Though players like Jones get much of the credit for the number in front of GW’s name, all 14 Colonials on the active roster got a piece of the action, able to defend the target now on their back.

“You saw today there was a tremendous amount of pride that we put ourselves in position to be successful,” Tsipis said. “One through 14, they all knew exactly what those kids could do. It’s one thing to know, it’s a second to carry it out.

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Senior Chakecia Miller dribbles past Duqesne's defense Tuesday night. The Colonials squashed the Dukes 83-56, remaining undefeated in conference play. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

Senior Chakecia Miller dribbles past Duquesne’s defense Tuesday night. The Colonials squashed the Dukes 83-56, remaining undefeated in conference play. Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

There’s winning, and then there’s what the Colonials did to Duquesne.

GW toppled the Dukes on Wednesday in its first game boasting a number in front of its name after climbing into the USA Today Coach’s poll at No. 24. Junior forward Jonquel Jones’ typically stellar night propelled the Colonials to an 83-56 victory.

Sophomore guard Hannah Schaible said the GW coaching staff scouted the Dukes perfectly. Facing off against the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the Atlantic 10, GW rolled out a relentless perimeter defense to compliment its always-strong rebounding game. The plan started with Duquesne’s star shooter April Robinson, who head coach Jonathan Tsipis said he wanted to give “no room to breathe.”

It worked, as Robinson was held in check with 12 points on 4-13 shooting, and the Colonials allowed only two threes on the night and forced the Dukes into 15 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

“We focused a lot on chasing them off the three-point line so that they can’t even get those shots up,” Schaible said. “If we focus on having so much pressure that they don’t even feel comfortable at getting an open look, then they can’t make them because they have to push them inside.”

GW in turn stepped up its guard play, sinking five threes on 14 attempts to improve on a 0-7 night at the three-point line last time out against Rhode Island.

The ranking could have been baggage, but the Colonials had no letdown in front of the home crowd.

Jones was the leader of the charge, notching an impressive 22 points and 17 rebounds on the night, pacing both teams. She rarely missed, going 9-14 from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line.

The beatdown was relentless. GW extended its lead to as much 32 points in the second half. While the Dukes scrambled to get out of their shooting slump, GW shot nearly 50 percent from the field and converted 71.4 percent from the charity stripe on the night.

They built up points off turnovers, on second chances and off the fast break. GW had eight fast-break points going into halftime to zero for Duquesne. The guards – particularly Lauren Chase, who was responsible for six of GW’s 16 assists – were able to field the ball accurately into the posts, run coast-to-coast on transition and bring on a deep threat with pressure along the perimeter.

“They have to be in position … if they’re not going to shoot that three, to get that next best shot, if that means it’s from 17 feet,” Tsipis said. “We need them to shoot it because even if they miss, I like our chances to get on the offensive glass.”

Schaible paced the Colonials with four steals, contributing to the team’s total of 13. Coming off her second double-double of the season, Schaible amassed 13 points and one rebound Wednesday night.

For the second time in the match, GW was able to capture a 30-point lead after senior Chakecia Miller drove into the basket for a quick layup that brought the team to a 70-40 advantage. Even with sophomore forward Caira Washington on the bench after accumulating four fouls, the Colonials maintained a confident lead throughout and still out-rebounded Duquesne, though only by one at 40-39.

GW’s bench got in the game during the final minutes. Junior forward DaLacy Anderson hit the final three-pointer, freshman guard Camila Tapias added to the scoreboard with a jumper and freshman forward Mia Farmer knocked down a free throw.

The Colonials now have a number in front of their name and a player in Jones who is having entire game plans designed to stop her. But Tsipis said his mindset hasn’t changed.

“I think the understanding that it’s great for our kids. It’s great for our team. It’s great for our program,” Tsipis said. “I think the biggest part of it, I still go back to what I said when I sat on April 7, 2012 – I want to get better everyday. I told the team at practice yesterday that we had a good practice, I said, ‘Guys, I just want to go 1-0 tomorrow.’ That is the goal.”

GW next heads to Philadelphia to face La Salle on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Jonquel Jones drives past a Richmond defender to attempt a shot. Jones finished with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Jonquel Jones drives past a Richmond defender to attempt a shot. Jones finished with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon.

The lead ballooned to 14 points and head coach Jonathan Tsipis bellowed. His players walked to the sidelines with swagger, the bench on their feet and the head coach thrilled. A few minutes to play, and GW was on its way to extending its win streak to 12 straight.

GW (14-2, 3-0) would go on to win 77-67, though it took some time to find a rhythm against Richmond (9-6, 1-2). It wasn’t until the end of the game that GW pulled away as rebounding – a usual strong suit for the third-highest rebounding team in the country – posed an initial problem for the Colonials.

“Us as a team, we focus on rebounding so much to the point that when we’re off, you feel it,” junior Jonquel Jones said. “Then coach coming into the locker room and putting it up on the board and challenging us to go out there and get on the glass was an eye opener for us as well. We just wanted to come out there and do what we had to do to get the win.”

The challenge worked – GW outscored Richmond 40-34 in the second half. The Colonials flipped the rebounding margin from plus-one at halftime to plus-12 in the second half, out-rebounding the Spiders 25-13, with a 12 to 5 margin on the offensive glass all in the second half.

Scoring, though, was rarely much of an issue for the Colonials. Four players finished in double figures, with Naismith Trophy candidate Jonquel Jones tallying a stat line of 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four blocks.

Jones looked like James out there – LeBron James. As one of the biggest players on the court, she would collect the defensive rebound, head down the court with a full head of steam and finesse her way over smaller bodies to finish for two points. Jones said she worked on that this off season, and that pushing the ball was a goal for the game.

“You know what, when you’re struggling to score it doesn’t take rocket science to throw it number 35,” Tsipis said. “She expects to go 14 for 14.”

On the defensive end, GW was strongest when converting turnovers into baskets. The Colonials finished with 20 points off of turnovers and the Spiders finished with 16 of their own, leading to several runs in a game that Tsipis called a “tale of three things.” Transition baskets were the first of the three, along with increasing ball touches inside and a long 2-3 zone, which halted a Spiders third-best 3-point shooting team to 4-18 behind the arc.

The Colonials held in check Richmond’s redshirt senior Genevieve Okoro, the third-best rebounder in the conference. She finished with four rebounds, four fewer than her average. Jones and sophomore Caira Washington, the first and sixth top rebounders in the conference, respectively, totaled 19 rebounds combined. Washington also added 14 points.

Senior Chakecia Miller helped lead the zone and occasional press. She was a sharp anticipator, finishing with four steals, three coming in the second half. The guard finished with a season-high 16 points, four off her career high, along with six assists.

“That’s what coach emphasized at half time – just play at our pace and just go out at them, attack them,” Miller said. “I think that’s what we did in the second half.”

Sophomore Hannah Schaible and junior Alexis Chandler played important minutes in the second half, knocking down clutch baskets to keep the Colonials’ lead, which shrunk to as little as three points. Schaible was the fourth GW player to reach double digits in the game, with her typical stat-stuffer line of 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

“It’s great to get the conference win to hold serve at home and then some situations we haven’t had happen in the first 15 games that I think will make us a better team,” Tsipis said.

The win marks 12 straight, keeping them perfect in conference play and likely edging them closer to a top 25 national ranking. The Colonials next play at Rhode Island on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rob Bartnichak.

Freshman forward Caira Washington jumps for a lay up in GW's 89-51 win over Grambling State earlier this season. File Photo by Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Freshman forward Caira Washington jumps for a layup in GW’s 89-51 win over Grambling State earlier this season. File Photo by Aly Kruse | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball defeated Saint Mary’s 70-52 at the Smith Center on Sunday for their seventh consecutive win and ninth win of the season.

GW (9-2) was led by junior Jonquel Jones, who posted her fourth double-double of the season with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, followed by sophomore Caira Washington, who scored 14 points and added eight rebounds. Senior Chakecia Miller led the game with five assists and also added 10 points.

“It’s a tricky game the last game before a break,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “But I’m proud of our group because people stepped up in a lot of different ways.”

Coming into the game, the Colonials ranked fifth in the country with a 15.9 rebounding margin, while Saint Mary’s ranked 11th. GW was able to edge the Gaels 45-27 on the boards and maintain its season-long streak of out-rebounding opponents.

“That’s really, really important. One of our biggest emphasis and the one thing that we take pride in is rebounding,” Jones said. “We don’t just look to win the rebounding war, we make it a point to win the rebounding war every night.”

The Colonials also held a slight scoring advantage in the paint, leading Saint Mary’s 30-26 inside. GW led in second-chance points 15-7 and outshot the Gaels throughout the game, shooting 46.3 percent to Saint Mary’s 41.2 percent.

But even with the strong performance in the paint, Tsipis said the play of his guards was key in the team’s win. Sophomore Shannon Cranshaw added six points, two three-pointers and four assists to complement Miller’s double-digit performance. Sophomore Hannah Schaible also contributed in several departments, with six points, seven rebounds, three assists, three blocks and three steals.

“Chakecia [Miller] did a very good job of playing under control today,” Tsipis said. “Saint Mary’s is a team that makes a lot of changes on how their defense is based, and I thought her and Shannon [Cranshaw] made a lot of good decisions.”

The Colonials shot 51.5 percent in the first half, as Washington led GW with 10 points and seven rebounds to help the team to a 10-point lead at halftime that never faltered.

The 9-2 start is GW’s best since the 2006-07 season, when the Colonials won an Atlantic 10 regular season title and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. But Tsipis said the players are still focused on what’s directly ahead of them instead of what is far down the road.

“We haven’t even talked once about a winning streak,” Tsipis said. “I think they know about the rebounding streak, but I don’t think they could pop in and tell you the winning streak because they’re focused on the next two games.”

Along with helping the Colonials secure a win, Miller’s five assists in the game would make her the 18th Colonial ever to tally 300 career rebounds.

The team returns to action on Dec. 28 on the road against Loyola.

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Sophomore Hannah Schaible reaches for the ball in the Colonials' win over Georgetown last week. Schaible scored 12 points and added seven rebounds against Memphis. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Sophomore Hannah Schaible reaches for the ball in the Colonials’ win over Georgetown last week. Schaible scored 12 points and added seven rebounds against Memphis. Andrew Goodman | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

Holding a solid lead heading into halftime, the Colonials tightened their stranglehold on Memphis in the second half to defeat the Tigers in their sixth straight victory of the season Monday.

GW beat Memphis 63-44 to bring its record to 8-2, the team’s best start since the 2006-07 season.

Junior forward Jonquel Jones led all scorers, notching a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Following close behind was sophomore Hannah Schaible, who tallied 12 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Caira Washington added nine rebounds while being held, uncharacteristically, without a point.

“It was a fun game. I got to really settle down and got a chance to move the ball around. It was a good game. Everyone chipped in,” Jones said.

The Colonials continued to dominate the boards, with a 54-32 advantage off the glass. GW entered the game fifth in the nation by an impressive rebounding margin of 15.2 rebounds per game, and has won the rebounding margin in every game this season.

“I think that the two things we hang our hat on are the ability to be aggressive and rebound the basketball,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I think that helps us get second-chance points and to the free-throw line and then how we get out of transitions.”

The Colonials had a 29-22 lead at halftime with the rebounding advantage well in hand, but had allowed Memphis (5-5) to stay close by amassing 12 turnovers.

In the second, however, the Colonials outscored the Tigers 34-22 and were much cleaner with the ball. GW had just seven turnovers after halftime. The team went on a 9-0 run early in the second half and kept momentum by pressuring the Tigers, who ended the game shooting under 30 percent from the field for their lowest point total of the season.

“Rebounding really gives us a chance to get the ball and push the ball up court. We really like to run transitions, so then we capitalize on the misses,” Schaible said.

With under eight minutes left in regulation, GW claimed back-to-back baskets after Jones elevated for a jumper and senior guard Chakecia Miller stole the ball on an inbounds play, letting her momentum carry her straight to the basket, which boosted GW to 53-29.

The Colonials kept composure at the line and didn’t allow Memphis any extra chances with a season-low five fouls on the night. GW shot over 83 percent from the charity stripe, aided by Miller’s perfect 5-5 night.

“We were cutting people off the free-throw line tonight,” Tsipis said. “Especially in the second half, we kept them from getting back, whether it be a transition or the offensive glass. I think that’s a great example of when your offense isn’t at full tilt and you aren’t executing as well as they were, you are able to really put forth a great effort.”

GW now leads the Atlantic 10 with an 8-2 record entering the final stretch of games before conference play begins Jan. 4. The Colonials will host Saint Mary’s on Sunday at noon in the Smith Center before a string of matches on the road to close out 2014.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

There was a dogfight in the Smith Center on Saturday, but the Colonials pulled away victorious, hanging on for their third straight win over a 2014 NCAA tournament team.

GW defeated Fresno State 73-64, led by senior guard Lauren Chase’s 22 points, which matches her career-high. Chase finished the game shooting 8-15 from the field with a 4-7 night at the charity stripe.

Chase got the ball rolling for the Colonials with a jumper and three pointer within the first five minutes of the contest. GW would take the first half by a slim 30-26 margin, after forcing 18 turnovers in the first half. Fresno State was able to keep it close by capitalizing on moments when the Colonials were out of sync with eight steals in the first half, GW head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. GW finished the game with 19 turnovers.

Lauren Chase dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Chase scored a game-high 22 points Saturday against Fresno State. File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Lauren Chase dribbles the ball in a game earlier this season. Chase scored a game-high 22 points Saturday against Fresno State. File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Fresh out of the locker room, Chase also notched the first of GW’s points in the second, with another shot beyond the arc. GW brought offensive intensity to extend to a 36-28 lead, as a quick layup by sophomore forward Caira Washington propelled the Colonials to an early eight-point advantage.

“The main thing was that we wanted to be aggressive, whether they were playing man or zone,” Chase said. “We needed to get the ball into the open spots, whether it’s getting it to our post players down low to get easy shots or just kicking it out, just making sure we’re moving the ball.”

The Colonials were perhaps most aggressive off the boards, out-rebounding their opponents for the eighth straight match. GW controlled the glass with a 47-32 margin, including a 24-8 mark off the offensive boards.

Washington paced the Colonials in rebounding, ending the game one point shy of a double-double with 14 rebounds and nine points.

“I think it makes you a harder team to guard when you know you are going to spend more time preparing to keep people off the glass,” Tsipis said. “It allows us on the defensive end to get out and transition more, which is how we want to play.”

Sophomore guard Hannah Schaible was active around the basket, getting seven rebounds despite just four points and elevating to retrieve her own offensive rebounds on a couple occasions. Freshman forward Kelli Prange was a deep threat in the second and shot an effortless three pointer to push the score to 50-39.

Still, the Bulldogs started to move in on the Colonials after Prange’s shot and brought the game to a 54-54 draw, forcing Tsipis to call a timeout to refocus his players.

After the timeout, GW retaliated and took a 58-57 lead with Jones dumping the ball in the basket through outstretched Bulldog arms and pulling away at the tail end of the game.

Senior guard Chakecia Miller knocked down four free throws within the last 17 seconds of the game to put the Colonials’ victory on ice.

Tsipis said the tough competition and versatility of opposition on a team like Fresno State should help the Colonials prepare for the conference season.

“We need to continue to understand that every one of these games, with the different styles that we are playing, is going to get us ready so that when we play teams in the [Atlantic] 10, we’re not caught off guard,” Tsipis said.

GW returns to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a match against crosstown rival Georgetown in the Smith Center.

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Senior Chakecia Miller drives past a defender in a game earlier this season. Miller tied junior Jonquel Jones for a team-high 14 points in GW's win over Purdue Saturday. File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Senior Chakecia Miller drives past a defender in a game earlier this season. Miller tied junior Jonquel Jones for a team-high 14 points in GW’s win over Purdue on Saturday. File Photo by Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

Still in the adolescent stage of this season, women’s basketball can add a tournament title to its résumé.

The Colonials clinched the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division title with a domineering 79-59 win over Big 10 contender Purdue. Freeport native and junior forward Jonquel Jones received MVP of the division.

“Putting our team in that championship environment, to get them ready for where we hope they are at in March was a big part of this tournament,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “The opportunity with that and to bring Jonquel home, it was like playing a home game. The excitement level had a lot of an NCAA tournament-type feel to it.”

The Colonials got four players in double-figure scoring led by Jones and senior guard Chakecia Miller who tied for a team-high 14 points. Purdue finished with two double-digit scorers and shot just 34.5 percent for the game, bogged down by a 25 percent shooting mark in the first half. Overall, GW shot 50.8 percent from the field.

Jones scored all of her points in the second half, though she did have five of her game-high 14 rebounds in the first.

“I thought today she was more tentative in the first half than she was yesterday, but I think at halftime, she collected herself,” Tsipis said. “She could have very easily got down on herself and forced things in the second half, but I thought she was patient. I thought she got some things off the offensive glass, and I thought she really locked in defensively.”

GW ran Purdue off the court by a score of 36-19 in the first half, but Purdue fought back in the second with a 10-4 run to shrink GW’s lead to as little as eight.

Sophomore guard Shannon Cranshaw helped GW retaliate with a three-pointer, which regained the double-digit lead, 55-43. She nailed the triple on an assist from sophomore guard Hannah Schaible, who had a shot herself but decided to throw the extra pass for the stronger look from Cranshaw.

The teams traded a few more shots, but as Jones heated up, the Colonials stretched the lead back out for the 20-point win.

GW out-rebounded Purdue by a 43-24 margin, but the Colonials’ struggles with turnovers continued. Both GW and Purdue tallied 11 steals on the night, but Purdue only forfeited 17 turnovers to the Colonials’ 24.

The Boilermakers were able to take advantage of their takeaways by scoring 21 points off the extra possessions, over a third of their points.

Tsipis said he was impressed with the intensity of his team for all 40 minutes in regulation, and that he is starting to see the focus on rebounding and quick transitions of a high-quality team.

The two wins in the tournament give the team momentum and confidence moving into the later portion of the non-conference schedule before Atlantic 10 play begins in January.

“Trying to challenge our team with the schedule early, playing at Florida Gulf Coast, hosting Maryland and playing in this tournament, you hope in the short term they understand they can compete with anyone on our schedule, and not just compete but also put themselves in a position to win,” Tsipis said.

The Colonials get a long rest after playing two games in two days, with the team hosting Fresno State at the Smith Center on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Rob Bartnichak.

Jonquel Jones’ homecoming led women’s basketball (4-2) to a first-round win against N.C. State in the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas on Friday.

Jones, who is from Freeport, led all players with 22 points and was the Colonials’ leading rebounder with nine in the 74-66 win. In the final minutes of the game, she hit a fadeaway jumper to keep a three-possession lead for GW.

“Talk about having a country on your shoulders,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We ran a couple things for her, but I thought she played well within herself.”

Star forward Jonquel Jones charges to the basket during a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

Star forward Jonquel Jones charges to the basket during a game last season. Hatchet File Photo

After leading by as much as 14 in the second half, GW’s lead dwindled down to six points with 7:48 left to play after a 13-3 Wolfpack run. Tsipis attributed N.C. State’s comeback to foul trouble and turnovers down the stretch, but was happy with how his team responded. GW ended the game with 18 turnovers.

“I thought the best part of our composure was that we executed things,” Tsipis said. “They changed defenses and we were able to score against their zone and press, and I think that composure let us execute in the last three minutes.”

Sophomore Caira Washington was second on the team with 14 points and seven rebounds. Two other Colonials scored double digits: seniors Chakecia Miller and Lauren Chase had 11 and 10, respectively.

The strength of the bigs, particularly, helped GW rack up easy shots and extra possessions with a good rebounding game. The Colonials shot over 49 percent from the field and nearly 56 percent in the second half. They also dominated on the boards, out-rebounding N.C. State 41-28.

“I think in the second half, we jump out to the big lead because of getting to the glass and getting Jonquel and Caira shots in the right position,” Tsipis said.

Those advantages gave GW a 48-22 edge in points in the paint, as well as a 20-11 mark in second chance points. Four of Jones’ and three of Washington’s rebounds came off the offensive glass. Freshman Kelli Prange and Miller also each added six rebounds.

Prange and classmate Brianna Cummings played the majority of GW’s minutes off the bench, with Prange taking 16 and Cummings taking 27.

The four other reserves combined for 21 minutes of play for GW. N.C. State’s bench outscored the Colonials’ 29-15, though mostly on the strength of redshirt sophomore guard Dominique Wilson’s 21-point performance.

Outside Wilson, guard Miah Spencer and forward Jennifer Mathurin, the Wolfpack did not get much production. Spencer scored 18, though she had six turnovers, and Mathurin scored 12.

The Colonials will play Purdue on Saturday in the title game at 3:15 p.m. The Boilermakers defeated Texas Tech 69-53 Friday to advance.

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