Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Women?s Basketball Falls To No. 25 George Washington, 69-65
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 18, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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College Park, Md. ?- No. 25 George Washington (3-0) outscored Arizona (1-1) 10-3 in the final 1:37 of the game to earn a 69-65 win over the Wildcats on Friday in the opening game of the BTI Classic in the Comcast Center.


Arizona led 62-59 with 1:37 left, but gave up eight-consecutive points to GW down the stretch to miss a near upset of the Colonials.


“This was a very tough loss for our team,” head coach Joan Bonvicini said.  “We needed to take advantage of the opportunities we had in this game.  We need to get more production out of our post play, and we need more players to step up.”


Arizona shot 39.7 percent (23-58) from the field in the game, including a 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) mark from three-point territory, and finished 12-for-17 (70.6 percent) from the free throw line.  GW out-rebounded Arizona 37-30, and shot 48.0 percent (24-50) from the field.


Junior Ashley Whisonant led the Wildcats with 20 points and six assists while playing before a hometown crowd.  Senior Joy Hollingsworth added 15 points, freshman Rheya Neabors finished with 10 points, and sophomore Amina Njonkou chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds.


Sophomore Jessica Adair led GW with 22 points, and junior Sarah-Jo Lawrence finished with 17 points.


George Washington opened the game with a 6-0 lead in the first 2:07, but Arizona responded with a 15-0 scoring run in the next 4:40 to take a 15-6 lead capped by two Whisonant free throws.  The Wildcats led 19-10 at the 9:14 mark, but GW rallied with a 10-2 run in the next 7:05 to cut the UA lead to 21-20, as the Wildcats shot 0-for-8 from the field in that span.  Arizona led 25-24 at halftime, shooting 34.6 percent from the floor (9-26).  Whisonant scored 13 points in the first half for Arizona.


The Colonials opened the second half with a 9-2 run, and led 33-27 at 14:37, but Arizona rallied with a 10-0 run to in the next 1:47 to lead 37-33.


Hollingsworth sparked the 10-0 run as she hit a three and scored on a fast-break layup in 23 seconds to cut the deficit to 33-32.  Rheya Neabors followed with a three at the 13:19 mark, and Njonkou added a pair of free throws to give Arizona a 37-33 lead with 12:50 left to play. 


GW would catch up to Arizona at 40-40, and the teams traded baskets until the Wildcats took a one-point lead at 47-46 with 8:31 left in the game.  UA led for the next 6:38 of the game until a jumper by Lawrence gave GW the lead at 63-62 with 53 seconds left.


Down 64-62, Whisonant had a chance to tie the game with 20 seconds left on a drive to the basket, but her layup went off the rim, and GW sealed the win with free throws down the stretch to avoid the upset.

Arizona will next play No. 1-ranked Maryland on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EST) in the Comcast Center.

WB Welcome Coach Barnes