SLU Women Can't Complete Comeback

ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis University women's basketball team has never beaten George Washington and never led during Saturday's Atlantic 10 Conference game, but the Billikens sure made things interesting.

Saint Louis cut a 16-point second half deficit to just three points with less than a minute remaining, but the Billikens couldn't complete the comeback and lost to George Washington 67-62 in front of a crowd of 1,856 on Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

"The positives are we made adjustments at halftime. I asked the kids to make adjustments at halftime and they did. I'm also pleased with our fight and our competitiveness and our toughness," coach Shimmy Gray-Miller said. "We were down by 16. It would have been very easy to throw in the towel, but they didn't. There's a lot of fight and pride in these kids. That's what I will take away from this."

Saint Louis U., which fell to 10-15 overall and 4-6 in league play, has now lost four straight games and has lost each of the four games it has played against the Colonials.

The Billikens, who were wearing pink jerseys as part of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Pink Zone initiative for breast cancer awareness, got a game-high 21 points from junior guard Theresa Lisch, including five 3-pointers, and a team-best four assists. Senior forward Heather King had 14 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Alisha Goodwin added 10 points.

George Washington (15-10, 7-3) had three players in double figures. Senior Jessica Adair, a 6-foot-4 center, was dominating with her 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Freshman guard Tiana Myers scored 17 points, including 15 in the first half, while Tara Booker, another freshman guard, added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Lisch, who leads the A-10 in scoring, broke the school's single-season scoring record in the first half. She broke the record — previously set by Mandy Lueking during the 1998-99 season — with a 3-pointer from the left win with 5 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the first half.

Lisch's 3-pointer cut the Billikens' deficit to 24-23, but after Colonials coach Mike Bozeman took a timeout, his squad scored seven straight points as part of a 12-2 run to take control of the game.

Myers, one of GW's strong freshman guards, scored nine of those 12 points and half and had 15 points in the first half as George Washington took a 42-31 lead into halftime.

The Colonials shot 56.2 percent in the first half (18 of 32), while the Billikens shot 42.3 percent (11 of 26). Lisch scored 11 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers, while King added 10.

The Billikens struggled shooting the ball in the second half and trailed by 16 points, 52-36, after a three-point play by Booker with 14:45 remaining.

It was from that point, however, that Saint Louis buckled down on defense, started to get some stops and was able to get back in the game a little bit at a time.

SLU trailed 63-55 with less than four minutes remaining, but rallied with a free throw from freshman center Kaelin Reid, a basket from Lisch and then two free throws from Lisch to cut the deficit to 63-60 with 1:38 left.

"I was pleased with our defense down the stretch," Gray-Miller said. "I thought we were tough when we needed to be tough. We did some different things defensively and we held them."

But the Billikens struggled from that point, missing a few opportunities inside for baskets that could have cut into the lead even further.

Myers made a difficult shot from the baseline with 54 seconds remaining to push the lead back to five points. Amanda Kemezys made two free throws with 15.1 seconds left, but the Billikens wouldn't score again.

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