George Washington women’s basketball outlasts Rhode Island, 57-43

WASHINGTON – The George Washington women’s basketball team defeated Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island, 57-43, on Sunday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center.

Sophomore Chakecia Miller finished just shy of the third triple-double in GW history, posting nine points, a career-high eight rebounds and 10 steals, which equaled her career-high and matched the second-highest single-game total ever by a Colonial; Laurie Cann had 12 in 1978. Miller becomes the 10th player in Division I to post double-digit steals this season and the first in the Atlantic 10.

Graduate student Tara Booker and senior Shi-Heria Shipp scored a game-high 12 points apiece, and grad studentSara Mostafa was one point away from her second double-double in three games with nine points and 11 rebounds to go with three blocks.

After a back-and-forth opening four minutes, senior Danni Jackson made a jumper, which sparked a 20-1 GW run. The Colonials (8-11, 2-3 A-10) opened a commanding 26-8 lead, holding Rhode Island (5-15, 0-5 A-10) without a field goal for 8:38. Booker scored seven points during the stretch, as nine of her 12 points in the game came in the first half.

Megan Straumann and Brianna Thomas ended the Rams’ drought with back-to-back three-pointers and ignited their own run, as URI scored 20 of the final 26 points of the half and trailed by just four, 32-28, at the break. Tayra Melendez had nine points in that time, with seven coming on free throws, while Thomas hit another three to end the half and give her eight points over the final 6:47 of the period.

GW regained a double-digit lead early in the second half and extended its advantage to 16 points, 50-34, with an 18-6 run to start the period. Six different Colonials scored over the first 11 minutes, led by six points from Miller and five from Shipp.

Rhode Island chipped away but never got closer than 11 the rest of the way, and three free throws by Booker and Miller in the final 88 seconds sealed the 57-43 win.

Miller had seven steals in the second half alone, which led to eight points off turnovers for the Colonials.

Melendez led the Rams with 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. Only five players got in the scorebook for URI, which shot just 28.3 percent in the game, the fifth time this season GW has held its opponent below 30 percent.

The Colonials outrebounded the Rams, 46-39, and dominated inside, holding a 36-10 advantage in the paint. GW committed a season-low 13 turnovers.

The Colonials return to action on Wednesday, when they welcome approximately 1,500 area students to the Smith Center for an 11 a.m. tipoff against A-10 rival Duquesne.

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