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GW’s great run ends in WNIT quarterfinals

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And then there was one—local women’s college basketball team playing for a title. This after George Washington was eliminated in the sweet 16 of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament March 28 at the hands of South Florida, 74-59.

Fourth-seeded Maryland (26-6) will take on top-seeded Tennessee (29-5) March at noon at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. The Terps-Lady Vols matchup will be shown on ESPN, as well as ESPN3.com.

The Bulls defense was the difference maker. USF opponents shot just .355 from the field this season. The Colonials were held to 32 percent in Tampa, home of South Florida. GW Graduate student Danni Jackson (Forest Park) was held to just two-for-18 from the field. She averaged 13 points per game this season.

The game was close for about 8 minutes. The Colonials held their last lead, 16-15, with 8:11 to play in the first half. A little more than three minutes later Jackson hit a free throw to break a Bulls 7-0 run. SFU ended the half with a 10-2 run and a 35-19 lead GW could not overcome.

The Colonials were flogged on the boards. The Bulls held a 56-45 advantage in caroms. SFU outscored GW 38-30 in the paint and 28-20 in second chance points.

Graduate student Megan Nipe came off the Colonials bench to score a team high 16 points, draining four-of-five three-point attempts. The rest of the team combined to miss 10 in long tries.

Ciara Washington (Gwynn Park and Georgetown Day) finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds points and Jonquel Jones (Riverdale Baptist) added 15 points for the Colonials (23-11).

Courtney Williams led SFU with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Alisia Jenkins added 11 points and 12 rebounds. Inga Orekhova scored all of her 14 points in the second half and tied career highs with nine rebounds and seven assists. Akila McDonald had 11 points and six rebounds.

GW concluded one of its best season ever. The Colonials are 23-11 and picked up its first post season wins since 2008. Washington was named Atlantic-10 Conference Rookie of the Year and voted to the 2013-14 all conference third team and all rookie team by head coaches. The Bowie, Md., native averaged 11.2 points and nine rebounds per game for the Colonials. Jones earned all conference second team after averaging 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Jackson joined Washington on the third team. Jackson averaged 12.9 points and six assists per game. Chakecia Miller was named to the all defensive team.

The Bulls (22-10) are attempting to become the first team in WNIT history to win it all twice, the next stop a game on the road at Mississippi State March 30.

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