Both coaches thought they had the better basketball team, but only George Washington's Joe McKeown walked out of the Smith Center with a victory yesterday, as his Colonial Women outlasted West Virginia, 69-67, for their school-record ninth straight victory.
With the win, the Colonial Women lifted their record to 13-2 overall and 7-0 in the Atlantic 10. They are tied with Rutgers for the league lead, and play the sixth-ranked and unbeaten Scarlet Knights in New Jersey Thursday.
Center Mary K. Nordling led George Washington with a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, while forwards Kristin McArdle and Jennifer Shasky added 16 points apiece. The Mountaineers (8-6, 3-2) were led by Rosemary Kosiorek's 23 points and seven assists.
The game was close throughout, with the Mountaineers taking the largest lead at 21-12. But the Colonial Women cut the deficit to two by halftime, 29-27, and finally used a late 7-2 surge to gain the victory. West Virginia had a chance to force overtime, but Kosiorek missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer.
"I felt we got beat by a lesser team," West Virginia Coach Scott Harrelson said. "They played with heart and soul and we just played."
"I thought we were the better team," countered McKeown. "If we had executed down the stretch, we would have won by 10, 12 points."
The Colonial Women led, 62-61, with 2:31 to play when guard Anne Riley made a free throw and Nordling added two more. After Kosiorek missed a short jumper at the other end, McArdle's layup pushed the lead to 67-61.
The lead still was six when Riley went to the line with 50 seconds to play, but after she missed the one-and-one, Kosiorek converted a layup, forced a steal, and made two free throws to cut the lead to 69-67 with 28 seconds left.
West Virginia had a chance to tie when George Washington's Wanda Lanham missed another one-and-one, but Selese Neal was called for traveling with six seconds left. After McArdle gave the Mountaineers another chance by tossing an errant inbounds pass, the 5-foot-5 Kosiorek -- guarded closely by Lanham -- drove the right side but was unable to get a good shot.
Seton Hall 88, Georgetown 80: Kelly Moore's game-high 28 points and 10 rebounds at McDonough Gymnasium gave the Hoyas their second straight Big East loss. Karen Durham scored 26 and added 8 rebounds for the Pirates (12-5, 2-4). Leading-scorer Kris Witfill had 21 points while Trish Corace contributed 16 along with 10 rebounds for Georgetown (6-8, 1-5).
N.C.-Wesleyan 55, Catholic 42: Sharon McLeod scored 14 points and Dora Berry added 11 to lead the Battling Bishops (6-6) at Catholic (4-10). Gretchen Ritter had 16 points and 18 rebounds in a losing effort.
James Madison 84, American 59: Vicki Harris scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead James Madison (13-2, 4-0 in the CAA). Felicia Young led the host Eagles (5-12, 0-5) with 16 points.
Navy 76, Philadelphia Textile 48: In Annapolis, Angie Dobbs scored 26 points to lead Navy (10-5) to its seventh straight victory, one short of the school record.