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GW, Richmond Pick Up Saturday Victories, VCU Runs Win Streak to 10

Release: 12/28/2013
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

 A strong first half and big games from the backcourt trio of graduate student Danni Jackson, juniorChakecia Miller and freshman Hannah Schaible led the George Washington women's basketball team to a 77-64 victory over crosstown rival American on Saturday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center.

With its fourth straight victory, GW improves to 8-4 on the season, its best 12-game start since 2007-08. In addition, the Colonials have won four in a row for the first time since Nov. 26-Dec. 3, 2011.

American (7-4) entered the game as the Patriot League's top defense, allowing just 54.8 points per game, but GW nearly surpassed that average in the first half alone. The Colonials' 77 points and 13-point victory were season highs for points allowed and margin of defeat for the Eagles, whose three previous losses were by a combined nine points.

Jackson matched her career high with 23 points, topping the 20-point mark for the second time in as many games, and she added four assists. Miller posted a season-best 18 points to go with four steals, and Schaible stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Caira Washington again led the Colonials on the boards with a game-high eight rebounds.

The game remained close early as the teams traded baskets and the lead for the first six minutes. The score was tied, 10-10, at the 14:26 mark, but a layup by Schaible sparked a 16-6 GW run that gave the Colonials a 26-16 advantage midway through the half. A four-point play by AU's Alexis Dobbs pulled the Eagles within six with 7:55 to go, but Schaible responded with a three-point play of her own, which ignited another 21-8 surge that gave the Colonials control of the game. GW led, 51-34, at halftime. 

The Colonials' 51 points in the opening period were one shy of their season high for points in a half. Schaible scored 13 of her 15 points in the first 20 minutes, while Jackson (13) and Miller (12) also reached double figures in the opening frame. GW shot 54.1 percent (20-37) in the half.

GW extended its lead to a game-high 21 points, 56-35, early in the second half. American rallied with a 9-2 run but never got closer than 13 points, as Jackson drained back-to-back three-pointers to regain the 21-point advantage, 71-50, with 8:10 to play. The Eagles scored 14 of the game's final 18 points, but it was not enough to overcome its deficit, as GW won, 77-64.

Dobbs led AU with 15 points and six rebounds, while Shaquilla Curtis tallied 11 points, six boards and four steals and Jen Dumiak added 10 points and seven assists.

GW shot 45.6 percent in the game and held American to just 36.9 percent from the floor, including 0-for-7 from three-point range in the second half. The Colonials also scored 22 points off the Eagles' 15 turnovers and converted 19 offensive rebounds into 25 second-chance points.

VCU 77, NJIT 72
NEWARK, NJ -- VCU picked up its school record 10th straight win and improved to 11-1 for only the second time in program history with a 77-72 triumph at NJIT on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Robyn Parks posted her fourth straight 20-point outing with a team-high 24 and helped spark a critical 34-16 run midway through the second half that put the Rams ahead for good.

Sophomore Jessica Pellechio added 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench, while freshman Isis Thorpe chipped in 15 to go along with a career-best three blocks for VCU.  Freshman point guard Keira Robinson also finished with nine points and 11 assists, which marked her fourth straight outing with eight assists or more.  Entering the game, Robinson ranked 23rd in the nation and third-best among all freshmen with 6.1 apg.

The Rams, who are off to their best start in six years, improve to 11-1 for the first time since 2007-08, and just the second time in the program's 40-year existence. VCU's previous nine-game winning streak lasted for more than 19 years (1994-95).

– Five Spiders in double figures lifted the Richmond women’s basketball team over future A-10 opponent Davidson, 87-68, Saturday afternoon at the John M. Belk Arena.

Richmond (6-7) shot 49.2 percent from the field, the second highest all season, with the help of five Spiders in double figures – the first time since Jan. 8, 2012. Junior Keri Soppe lead the team with 18 points and four assists, while freshman Olivia Healy followed with 16 points, game-high seven rebounds and eight of the team’s 13 steals. Healy’s eight steals rank third all-time in Richmond’s record book.

Senior Kristina King and freshman Janelle Hubbard each added 14 points, while King tallied four assists and a steal. And redshirt-junior Genevieve Okoro scored 11 points and brought down six rebounds.

The Spiders held Davidson (5-8) to 44.2 percent from the floor and just 25.0 percent from behind the arc. Richmond tallied an impressive seven three’s to shoot a season-high 46.7 percent.

The Spiders came out strong in the first as Richmond scored the first four points. It wasn’t until the 14:45 mark though, that the Spiders sparked a 13-2 run to go up 22-10 with six minutes left in the half.

Richmond went into the break with the 34-21 lead. Hubbard led the team with 10 points as she went 2-of-3 from behind the arc. The Spiders shot 43.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in the first 20 minutes.

The Wildcats threatened in the second half and came as close as three with 11 minutes to play. But the Spiders went on a 12-5 run over a four-minute span to clinch the victory.

The Spiders will return to the Robins Center after a long three-game road swing to begin conference play against St. Joseph’s Thursday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.

JOHNSON CITY, TN -- Sophomore Taylor Brown scored her number Saturday afternoon, putting up a career-high 31 points in 40 minutes of play in George Mason’s (5-7) 87-76 loss at East Tennessee (4-7).  However, it was not enough to overcome foul trouble for an already depleted Patriot squad. Mason ended the game with seven of eight active players with three or more fouls.

“Foul trouble was really the story today,” head coach Nyla Milleson said. “We’ve got two post players out with concussions, leaving us with three and they all get into foul trouble pretty early in the second half.”

Despite the result, Mason outperformed the Bucs in several key facets of the game. The Patriots out-rebounded ETSU 42-39 leading to 18 second chance points for George Mason.

“You can draw positives from today,” Milleson said. “We only had 12 turnovers today, we had eight steals, both good numbers for us. We shot 82% from the line. We’re just yet to put 40 minutes full together.”

After falling behind 8-0 in the first two minutes of play, the Patriots fought their way back with a 11-3 run to tie the ballgame 11-11 with just under 16 minutes remaining in the first half. The rest of the half was a tug-of-war affair with 10 ties and 13 lead changes.

Brown would close out the half for Mason with a layup to round out 17 first half points for the Bowie native and send the Patriots into the break with a 40-39 lead.

The second half was a battle from the start and there would be a total of 13 ties and 18 lead changes, with the Patriots taking a 67-66 lead with just over nine minutes remaining. But foul trouble would cause Mason trouble as the green and gold would allow the Bucs to shoot 50% from both the field and beyond the arc.

Brown would add eight rebounds on the day. Senior Janaa Pickard registered her seventh career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Sandra Ngoie would add 12 point and Cierra Strickland put up 10 in the losing effort.

AMES, Iowa
– Erin Nelson scored 18 points and Sadie Stipanovich posted her second double-double of the season, but William and Mary came away with a 66-56 victory over Saint Louis Saturday afternoon in the opening game of Iowa State’s Cyclone Challenge at Hilton Coliseum.

The Billikens (5-7) will face Holy Cross (7-3) in the tournament consolation game Sunday at 1 p.m.

Nelson was 8-of-16 from the floor as she led Saint Louis in scoring for a team-leading eighth time this season. Stipanovich registered 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds – her third double-digit board total in four games – and grabbed a game- and career-high eight offensive caroms to lead the Billikens to a season-high 22 offensive rebounds.

Desirae Ball scored seven points, tied her career high with seven rebounds and dished out a team-high and career-high-tying five assists. Jamesia Price chipped in six points, six rebounds and four assists, while Olivia Jakubicek scored seven points.

Marlena Tremba scored a career-high 25 points, including a 5-of-11 performance from 3-point range, for William and Mary (3-7). Jazmen Boone and Latrice Hunter tossed in 10 points apiece, and Hunter recorded a game-high six assists.

Saint Louis enjoyed its largest rebounding advantage of the season (51-34), but the Billikens shot just 32 percent from the floor and 62 percent from the foul line while committing a season-high 23 turnovers.

William and Mary used a 57-percent shooting effort in the second half to finish at 42 percent for the game.

Both offenses were sluggish in the first half, combining for 25 percent field goal shooting and 27 turnovers. Nelson scored the Billikens’ first six points and tallied 10 in the opening period, but SLU trailed 22-18 at the break.

The Bills turned it around following intermission, scoring on their first five and 11 of their first 15 possessions to grab a 41-37 lead with 12:24 to play. Stipanovich had two offensive rebounds and put-backs plus a three-point play during that stretch, and Jakubicek collected three buckets for six points.

Kaitlyn Mathieu’s three-point play and Boone’s layup put William and Mary in front for good, 42-41, at the 11:47 mark. The Tribe led 45-41 following Hunter’s three-point play.

Stipanovich responded with another offensive rebound and layup, and a Nelson 3-pointer pulled Saint Louis to within a point, 47-46, with 8:01 left. It was 48-47 William and Mary after Halee Castleman hit a free throw.

An 8-2 spurt put William and Mary on top 56-49 with 4:57 remaining. Ball’s trey from the left corner made it a one-possession game, 59-56, with 1:46 to play, but Tremba answered with a 3-pointer seconds later to put the Tribe back in command.

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