Miller and Mostafa lead George Washington women over VCU, 79-68

RICHMOND, Va. – Five players scored in double figures, led by sophomore Chakecia Miller’s 20 points and graduate student Sara Mostafa’s double-double, as the George Washington women’s basketball team earned its first Atlantic 10 win of the season, 79-68, over conference newcomer VCU on Sunday afternoon at the Rams’ Verizon Wireless Arena.

Miller matched her career-high 20 points for the second straight game. She was 6-for-7 from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line, and added three steals. Mostafa finished with a season-high 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, posting her first double-double since Feb. 20, 2010.

Grad student Tara Booker recorded 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists, while senior Shi-Heria Shipp tallied 11 points, six rebounds, three steals and a career-high eight assists. Senior Danni Jackson was the final Colonials’ player in double figures with 10 points to go with four helpers. It was the first time five Colonials scored at least 10 points since a victory at North Texas in November 2009.

After missing its first four shots of the game – all on the first possession – GW (7-10, 1-2 A-10) made eight of its next nine attempts. The first 13 minutes saw seven ties and no lead larger than five for either team.

The Colonials led for much of the first half, but a three-pointer by VCU’s Kaneisha Atwater at the 6:51 mark tied the game at 23-23 and sparked a 14-4 run for the Rams that gave the hosts a 34-27 lead. VCU (8-10, 1-2 A-10) hit four triples during the spurt.

GW responded, however, as a Mostafa layup on the next possession ignited a 15-2 run for the Colonials to end the half. The center scored 11 points over the final 3:54 and GW led, 42-36, at the break.

The Colonials shot a sizzling 69.2 percent (18-for-26) in the opening half. Mostafa, Miller and Booker combined for 35 of GW’s 42 points, making 15-of-18 attempts from the floor.

GW cooled off in the second half but extended its lead to eight points. The Rams rallied to make it a one-possession game, but they were never able to get over the hump. VCU pulled within two points with 4:16 to go, the closest the hosts had been since the first half, but the Colonials answered with six straight to regain an eight-point advantage with 2:49 left.

The Rams began fouling with just over a minute left and GW made all eight free throws down the stretch, including six straight by Miller, to provide for the final 79-68 margin. Shipp scored eight of her 11 points in the second half.

Robyn Parks led VCU with a game-high 23 points and four steals, and Atwater tallied 17 points and eight rebounds. Carleeda Green added eight points and six assists.

GW shot a season-high 52.7 percent from the floor and 95.2 percent from the foul line, making 20-of-21 attempts. VCU shot just 33.8 percent from the field for the game. The Colonials outrebounded the Rams, 43-30, and their 79 points were their second-highest offensive output of the season.

The Colonials return to action on Thursday when they visit defending A-10 champion and No. 18/17-ranked Dayton for an 11 a.m. tipoff.

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