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GW wins ugly, seals OT win in last home game

The George Washington Colonials fought the Richmond Spiders until the very end, winning with a pair of critical free throws and tough defense.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington, D.C. -- George Washington women's basketball had a rough night from the free-throw line on Wednesday night in their win over the Richmond Spiders, (they shot just 33 percent in the first half) however, their biggest weakness ended up leading to their victory.

With 3.4 seconds left and the game tied at 53 apiece, junior Hannah Schaible stepped up to the free-throw line to try and prevent the game from going into double overtime. With ice in her veins, Schaible sank both free throws to give the Colonials the 55-53 win.

While her free throws clinched the game, what most benefitted the Colonials tonight were Schaible's hustle plays, whether she was getting a defensive stop or diving after loose balls, she never stopped playing with a sense of urgency.

"Ever since I was little my dad always taught me it's not always about the points you score it's the hustle points you put out there, and I think that really carries over into what I can bring to this team," Schaible said following the win.

Schaible had 14 points for the Colonials. Also, in double digits were Lauren Chase with 11 and sophomores Kelli Prange and Brianna Cummings each chipping in ten. Richmond was led by Sophomore Micaela Parson's 16 points.

Throughout the last nine games, perhaps George Washington's greatest accomplishment is playing team basketball in the face of adversity. The Colonials have now gone the last nine games without their senior superstar Jonquel Jones, who suffered an injury in mid-January.  In the time, she's been out they have gone 6-3 with their win tonight.

"She's able to shoot; she's able to do a lot of things in practice, it's a matter of when we get the go-ahead from the medical staff," head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. "I hate the idea that we've been in this day-to-day situation, but she wants to be out there. She wants to help her team and be more than the tallest cheerleader in the A-10."

Richmond started out the evening strong, shooting an above average 47 percent from the field in the first quarter. George Washington on the other hand, only hit a third of their shots. A layup by Richmond sophomore Kylie Murphree put the Spiders up 12-6, but layups by Schaible and Chase would put the Colonials in double digits before the end of the first.

George Washington outscored Richmond in the second quarter, but not by a wide margin at 11-9. Junior Caira Washington scored four points, while another three from Schaible seemed to give GW some offensive momentum. It wouldn't be enough to stop the Spiders, however. After a free throw from Parson, Richmond would go into the locker room with a two-point halftime lead, 23-21.

Richmond came out from the halftime break strong going on a 6-2 run. A series of shots from Cummings and Chase, however, would put a stop to the Spiders run and tie the game at 29, midway through the quarter. The Colonials would be unable to squash the Spiders for good, though, and after trading baskets still found themselves down 38-36 behind the play of Parson and sophomore Karleigh Wike.

The fourth quarter would prove to be knock-down, drag-out as both teams battled. A Schaible jumper followed by two free throws from Washington was quickly matched by a three-pointer from Richmond junior Janelle Hubbard.

The game would go nearly three minutes without another basket until Washington had a lay-in that put the Colonials up one, 41-40, with 3:14 remaining. The fourth quarter would remain back and forth the rest of the way up until the final second, when a rebound putback from Richmond sophomore Salita Greene sent the game into overtime, tied 48-48.

Two shots from Cummings and Schaible along with Schaible's free throws would seal the game for the Colonials in the five-minute overtime period.

Richmond defensively took away a lot of what the Colonials like to do on the offensive end of the court, such as taking away ball screens and getting out of their sets. However, once the Colonials stopped analyzing so much is when the game swung in their favor.

"We made adjustments at halftime," Chase said. "We were pretty much just playing basketball more. We were a little stagnant in the first half but the second half we got a little bit looser."

And while adjustments certainly helped, the continuous hustle really sealed the game.

"Sometimes you've gotta win ugly," Tsipis said.