TAMPA, Fla. - The George Washington women's basketball team rallied to pull within six points late in the second half but could not complete its comeback in a 74-59 loss to USF in the third round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday evening at the Sun Dome.
GW concludes its season at 23-11 - a nine-win improvement from its 2012-13 mark of 14-16 - after picking up its first two postseason victories since 2008 last week in the first two rounds of the WNIT.
Playing in the final game of her career, graduate student Megan Nipe led the Colonials with 16 points off the bench, draining 4-of-5 three-point attempts. Freshman Caira Washington posted a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds and added a career-high five blocks, and sophomore Jonquel Jones tallied 15 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
Graduate student Danni Jackson, also in her last game, scored eight points and dished out five assists to finish with 204 on the season, one shy of Kimberly Beck's program record of 205, set in 2007-08.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, GW led 13-10 with 9:39 remaining in the first half before USF (22-12) pulled away with a 19-5 run to take a 35-19 lead at the break.
The Colonials opened the second half strong, as the frontcourt duo of Washington and Jones combined to score GW's first 11 points of the period, and a three-pointer by Nipe made it 45-33 with 14:37 to go. USF regained a 16-point lead just under four minutes later, but another three by Nipe ignited an 11-2 run to pull the Colonials within seven, 56-49, with 6:21 remaining.
It was a six-point game with 4:13 left, but the Bulls scored eight in a row to seal the win and advance to the WNIT quarterfinals. Courtney Williams led USF with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Inga Orekhova had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Alisia Jenkins also posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 boards.