GW women’s basketball squanders 10-point lead, falls to Towson

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The George Washington women’s basketball team began a season-long seven-game homestand with a 68-67 loss to Towson, in which the Colonials were unable to preserve a 10-point halftime lead and a four-point advantage with less than 21 / 2 minutes to play Saturday afternoon at Smith Center.

George Washington (4-4) lost for the third time in four games in a sloppy affair that included the teams combining for 42 fouls and 39 turnovers in the programs’ first meeting since 2000. The Colonials committed 22 and shot 38 percent, but even then they had opportunities in the closing seconds.

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“A lot of credit to Towson,” GW Coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I thought they did a great job of coming out of the locker room in the second half. No matter what the defense, I thought they were just the aggressor.”

Shortly after GW guard Hannah Schaible’s layup tied it at 67 with 50 seconds left in regulation, the Colonials had the ball again when the freshman rebounded her own miss and Tsipis immediately called timeout.

Following the stoppage as the shot clock wound down, Schaible missed a short jumper, but guard-forward Megan Nipe collected the loose ball and put up a shot that rolled around the rim before dropping.

Officials initially ruled the basket counted, then watched video replays and conferred before determining otherwise. Towson senior guard Tanisha McTiller missed a fast-break layup on the other end but got the rebound and was fouled, making the second of two free throws with two seconds to go.

On the final play of the game, Schaible inbounded to Nipe for a jumper in traffic that missed at the buzzer.

“Do I think I was fouled?” said Nipe, who scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the first half. “I mean yeah, I felt someone there, but it wasn’t called, so it wasn’t called.”

Nipe was the only player to reach double figures for the Colonials, who shot 24 percent in the second half. They also committed 13 turnovers after the break.

The Tigers (3-5) had four players score at least 10 points. McTiller led the way with 22 and added five steals, four rebounds and two assists, and junior forward LaTorri Hines-Allen chipped in 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Trailing by three after Nipe sank her fourth three-pointer, Towson scored the next 10 points on the way to taking its first lead since early in the first half. McTiller got it started with a driving layup, and by the time Dominique Johnson made two technical foul free throws with 11:48 to play, the Tigers had forged ahead, 58-51.

Johnson was awarded those foul shots when Tsipis stormed onto the court to protest a charging call assessed to Danni Jackson as she drove for a layup. Minutes later, the graduate student made a fast-break layup while getting fouled, and her bonus free throw put the Colonials back in front, 61-59.

Jackson's fadeway jumper bumped the lead to 65-61 with 2:28 to play, setting up the frantic conclusion.

“We talk about being mentally tough,” said first-year Towson Coach Niki Reid Geckeler, who coached Howard the past five seasons and was a standout player at Georgetown. “GW played a great game, and we did as well. The one thing we always talk about is playing defense, and I think that was the key in the second half.”

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