Georgetown and George Washington provided a dramatic start to the area women's basketball season in last night's opener for both teams at McDonough Arena. The Colonials overcame a 16-point deficit to win, 67-62, in the 31st meeting between the cross-town rivals.

Jessica Simmonds, a transfer from Providence, scored 17 points in her GW debut. Mary Lisicky finished with 14 points to lead Georgetown. Varda Tamoulianis had 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Hoyas.

"I'm really proud of the way we played in the second half," GW Coach Joe McKeown said. "We got taken on our heels a little bit in the first half."

The Colonials, who lead the series 17-14 but had lost the last three meetings, did not take the lead until Corrine Turner made a layup with 7 minutes 8 seconds remaining. After the teams traded the lead, GW pulled away in the final 2 1/2 minutes. Anna Montanana made a pair of free throws and Simmonds made a layup to secure the win.

Georgetown appeared to wear down at the end of the game. The Hoyas made only two baskets over the final nine minutes. After shooting 41 percent in the first half, the Hoyas made just 29 percent after halftime.

GW started slowly, falling behind 32-16 with 4:29 left before halftime. Georgetown did a nice job defensively in the first half against the Colonials' top two players, Simmonds and Montanana. Simmonds made only one shot in the first half. Montanana missed four of her six attempts. GW seemed out of rhythm, missing free throws and turning over the ball. The Colonials had nine of their 14 turnovers in the first half and missed 12 of 29 free throws in the game.

Georgetown, which went more than six minutes without a basket from the end of the first half until the 18:04 mark of the second half, finally broke its scoring drought when Lisicky made a three-point basket. Her field goal ended a 13-0 run by GW that pulled the Colonials to 32-29.

"We didn't attack in the second half like we did in the first," Hoyas Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said.

After the Hoyas made another run, Simmonds took control. She scored nine consecutive points to pull GW to 51-48. Despite playing the final 7:49 with four fouls, Simmonds made 7 of 8 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

* VIRGINIA 65, CLEVELAND STATE 55: Reserve Brandi Teamer scored 21 points to lead the Cavaliers to a win on the road. Teamer was the only Virginia player to score in double figures. She also grabbed seven rebounds. Virginia's starters combined to score just 28 points.

* HOWARD 67, TULANE 59: Brittany James led three players in double figures with 17 points as the Bison won their home opener. Simone Agee had 14 points and Daisha Hicks added 11.

* KENT STATE 72, AMERICAN 53: Lindsay Shearer and Melissa Degrate led host Kent State with 23 and 18 points, respectively. Joanna Barnes led the Eagles (0-1) with 17 points. AU committed 27 turnovers.