The George Washington women's basketball team played its best game of the season last night, breaking a six-game losing streak on Leslie Bond's 16-foot jumper and two free throws in the last 28 seconds to defeat St. Joseph's, 66-64, at the Smith Center.
Bond led all scorers with 24 points but the key to this GW victory was reserve guard Judi Durda. Durda, who normally plays 10 minutes and averages two points, scored 10 points in 22 minutes and made key steals in the final minutes.
"Judi was really the spark," said GW Coach Denise Fiore.
The Colonials (8-18), who had lost 11 of their last 12 games, refused to give in tonight.
"We were tired of losing. Nothing was going our way," said Durda. "But we got a little confidence and realized we could win."
"We played as well as we have played all season," said Fiore.
St. Joe's guard Carol Polachek tied the game at 62-62 with 50 seconds remaining on a layup before Bond banked in a go-ahead jumper. Fourteen seconds later, Bond made two free throws for a 66-62 lead after being fouled on a rebound. Hawk guard Deanna Kyle made a layup with two seconds remaining.
The Colonials played poorly early in the game, converting on only four of their first 14 possesions. The Colonials got their defense in motion at the end of the half, but Polachek (14 points), 6-2 center Kate McPeak (10) and forward Trish Brown (12) connected on long jumpers for a 34-28 halftime lead for St. Joseph's (12-12).
But seven Hawk turnovers in the second half and nine points by GW forward Robin Illsley (17 points) turned the game around after intermission. GW led for the first time with 12 minutes remaining when Durda hit a shot from the corner for a 40-39 lead. The two teams exchanged the lead nine times before GW held on for the win.