WASHINGTON - Five players scored in double figures as the George Washington women's basketball earned its first postseason victory since 2008, defeating East Carolina, 86-68, on Wednesday evening in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) at the Charles E. Smith Center.
GW (22-10) advances to face Villanova in the second round of the WNIT on Sunday at 1 p.m., in Philadelphia after the Wildcats (23-8) defeated Quinnipiac, 74-66, in first-round action on Wednesday evening.
Graduate student Megan Nipe led the Colonials with 20 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range, and she was 7-of-8 from the foul line while adding three steals. Classmate Danni Jackson poured in 18 points and recorded eight assists and four steals, and freshman Caira Washington posted her 11th double-double of the season with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds to go with three blocks.
Junior Chakecia Miller and sophomore Jonquel Jones each chipped in 10 points to round out GW's double-digit scorers. Miller added five assists and three steals and Jones had six rebounds and four blocks. Freshman Hannah Schaible also pulled down 12 rebounds to go with seven points.
GW led throughout, scoring the first nine points of the game to help build a 17-point lead, 31-14, with 5:50 to go in the first half. ECU (22-9) began to hit threes and used a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to slice its deficit to five, 33-28, with just under three minutes to play. The Colonials led, 39-32, at halftime.
After ECU got back within eight with 90 seconds left, the Colonials made 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch and added a bucket by sophomore Dalacy Anderson in the final minute to seal the 86-68 victory.
Shae Nelson led the Pirates with a game-high 23 points with three treys and Payne posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
GW outrebounded ECU, 55-48, and held a 40-26 advantage in points in the paint.
The Colonials picked up their first postseason win since knocking off California in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16. In addition, it was GW's second-ever WNIT victory and first since defeating Delaware in 2002.Washington's 12 rebounds in the game give her 290 on the season, a new GW freshman record, surpassing Kas Allen's 287 in 1983-84. The 290 boards are the fifth-highest single-season total in program history.