RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Foul trouble left Jonquel Jones with 20 minutes to make an impact on the Atlantic 10 championship game.
The conference player of the year and defensive player of the year made the most of it, scoring 16 of her 21 points in the second half and leading No. 21 George Washington to a 75-62 victory against Dayton and its first title since 2003.
”I was just playing the game, and it was a high-stakes game, and a game that we didn’t want to walk out feeling like we didn’t leave it all out there on the court,” the 6-foot-4 junior and tournament’s most valuable player said.
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”It was fun to be able to go out and play at a very high level and do it for a whole half.”
Jones played just nine minutes in the first half, which ended with the Flyers holding a 37-29 lead, but offered the most significant moment of the afternoon when she scored nine straight points in a game-changing 17-5 run for the Colonials.
It began with the Flyers leading 47-45, and ended with George Washington ahead 62-52 with 9:40 to play.
Jones had two of her four 3-pointers in the burst, and a traditional three-point play.
”I just stepped into the moment for that very brief period of time,” she said.
The victory was the eighth in a row for the Colonials (29-3), who outrebounded Dayton 56-34, with 27 offensive rebounds.
”You just saw in the second half a team that was not going to be denied,” Colonials coach Jonathan Tsipis said.
Amber Hoover led the Flyers (25-6) with 18 points, Kelley Austria had 15 and Ally Malott 14.
Dayton coach Jim Jabir used just seven players until the final minutes, and the Flyers third game in three days took its toll. They made just 8 of 33 shots after halftime, 24.2 percent, often missing badly.
”They used their athleticism and their length and their strength to wear us down,” Jabir said.
Malott, who scored just two points after halftime, said she didn’t think fatigue was much of a factor.
”I think it was just that we weren’t being aggressive in ways that we needed to be,” she said. ”We didn’t really execute our offense as well as we had in the first half. … I had open shots. I just didn’t knock them down.”
Chakecia Miller added 12 points and Caira Washington had 10 and 10 rebounds for the Colonials.
Trailing 37-29 at halftime, the Colonials used an 11-2 run to open the second half to take a 40-39 lead. The teams traded baskets for several possessions, but after Dayton went ahead 47-45 on a jumper and then two free throws by Austria, the Colonials took over, dominating at both ends of the floor.
In the ensuing 17-5 run, Jones made two 3-pointers and a three-point play and Washington had two baskets. The burst gave George Washington a 62-52 lead. The lead grew to as many as 16, and the Flyers never really challenged again.
The game was a basket-for-basket affair for the first 10 minutes until Jones went to the Colonials’ bench with her second foul.
Dayton immediately reeled off 10 consecutive points in 2 minutes, getting a driving basket from Amber Deane, a short jumper from Hoover and 3-pointers from Jenna Burdette and Malott. The Colonials, meantime, had trouble getting a shot off, committing three consecutive turnovers among their 15 in the half.
Dayton: The Flyers were outscored 23-7 on second-chance points and 12-3 on the fast-break.
George Washington: The Colonials were making their 11th championship appearance, but first since 2006. … GW followed its 15 first-half turnovers with just six after halftime.
Jones was the league’s defensive player of the year, but the Flyers were no slouches. They finished with 12 blocked shots and 12 steals, with Jodie Cornelie and Hoover each blocking three. Hoover also had six steals.
Dayton will await a possible at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament.
George Washington: NCAA Tournament.
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