Colonials Let Bye Slip Away, 49-59
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Regular season finales sometimes are only just one last game. But for GW and Temple, this game represented so much more. A win for George Washington would clinch the third seed in the A-10 tournament. A loss could mean a fifth seed. For Temple a win would mean a two seed in the A-10 tournament.
For both teams a win would also give them a bye in the first round in the tournament. One less game to play in the grueling marathon that is March Madness.
Not only were the Colonials playing for the first round bye, but also for a special goodbye to the Smith Center. For the seniors, this would be their last game on their home court. Giving their family and fans one last win in their house would be the only way to bid farewell.
On senior night, Jamila Bates, Yolonda Lavender, Antelia Parrish, Jessica Adair and Jazmine Adair were celebrated in a ceremony before the opening tip off. Continuing with the theme, GW head coach Mike Bozeman, started none other than his five seniors. Having this senior combination on the floor was interesting and entertaining but yielded mixed results. They had size with this lineup but it was not familiar to the Colonials.
GW shot poorly the entire game; only shooting 26.2 percent. Lavender, who usually has a knack for scoring and has had season highs in recent games, went 0 for 11 from the field. George Washington Head Coach Mike Bozeman said, "We were playing so bad, but we were still right there in the game. We shot 16-for-61, but we were only four field goals away from the 20 that Temple made."
Both teams had trouble hanging onto the ball. Temple committed 18 turnovers while GW had 17, however it was the Owls who seemed to take advantage of their opponent's errors.
Temple forwards Shenita Landry and Kristen McCarthy led their team and finished with 15 points apiece. Colonial Antelia Parrish led GW with 13 points and five rebounds while Jessica Adair finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
For the Colonial seniors, the sun has set on the Smith Center. They will have an opportunity to redeem themselves in the A-10 championships.
Coach Bozeman talked about the seeding after the game, "We played our way into fifth, just like Temple played their way into the second seed." The Colonials will face the No. 12 seed Rhode Island on March 6 at 2:30 PM.
Meanwhile, Temple clinched the No. 2 seed in the A-10 and earned their first round bye with this win. By finishing with five consecutive wins, the Owls feel like they also deserve an invitation to the big dance. Temple Coach Tonya Cardoza said this about their season's finish, "The fact that we went 5-0 means to me we definitely put ourselves in the NCAA Tournament." The Owls will face either St. Bonaventure or St. Joseph's in a quarterfinals matchup on March 7 at 5:30 PM.