George Washington rallies by Duquesne for A10 women's title
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Hannah Schaible scored 17 points, Brianna Cummings had 15 and top-seeded George Washington held Duquesne scoreless for more than seven minutes in the final quarter to rally for a 63-60 victory and the Colonials' second consecutive Atlantic 10 women's tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth on Sunday.
Jonquel Jones added 10 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks for George Washington (26-6), which claimed its sixth A10 title. Caira Washington was named Most Outstanding Player after grabbing 12 rebounds to go with her nine points.
The Colonials trailed almost throughout, but outscored the Dukes 11-5 in the final quarter. Duquesne was 1 for 19 from the field in the quarter.
''We just let our defense kind of close the game out for us,'' said Jones, a 6-foot-6 senior from the Bahamas who was slowed by a shoulder injury during the season, but made her presence felt inside, especially in the final quarter. ''Sometimes the shots are not going, but the defense is something we can always ... hang our hats on.''
Deva'Nyar Workman led the Dukes (27-5) with 18 points and Angela Staffileno had 11, but Duquesne - making its first appearance in the championship game - had no luck keeping it going when the Colonials appeared to turn up the defensive intensity with the title on the line.
''We went dry,'' coach Dan Burt said. ''Tonight I thought we had good looks. They had Jonquel Jones.''
The Dukes started fast, leading 41-34 at halftime and 55-52 entering the final quarter.
''We felt like if we could keep the game close toward the end we would have a little bit more depth,'' Colonials coach Jonathan Tsipis said. ''We talked the whole week about how we hoped that it would come down to our defense and defensive rebounding.''
George Washington slowly erased the deficit in the third quarter, drawing even at 52 on Lauren Chase's layup with 19 seconds to go.
But the Dukes' April Robinson, co-player of the year in the league, rattled in her first basket since the first quarter - and her team's 11th 3-pointer - just before the buzzer to give the Dukes a three-point margin heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Dukes trailed 32-31 before going on a 10-2 run to close the half. Kadri-Ann Lass started the burst with a bucket in the lane, Workman added a 3-pointer and a driving score and Staffileno capped the half with Duquesne's seventh 3-pointer of the opening 20 minutes.
Duquesne: The Dukes also missed 10 consecutive shots late in the first quarter and held the lead almost through the drought because Georg Washington missed three shots and turned the ball over three times before Kelli Prange tied it at 13 with a basket. ... The Dukes led at halftime despite being outrebounded 20-11 by the much taller Colonials.
George Washington: The Colonials had 10 turnovers by halftime, and forced just two giveaways by the Dukes.
Duquesne will await an at-large postseason invitation.
George Washington is heading to the NCAA tournament.