No. 2 Colorado 77, No. 18 George Washington 61
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Colorado made sure George Washington didn’t pull off another miracle comeback.
The second-ranked Buffaloes bolted to an early 12-point lead and never let George Washington back in it, beating the No. 18 Colonials 77-61 Thursday night in the semifinals of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Led by Isabelle Fijalkowski’s 17 points, Colorado (30-2) won for the 25th straight time and will play No. 12 Georgia on Saturday night for the right to advance to the Final Four.
It will be the second regional championship game in three years for the Buffaloes, who lost to eventual national champion Texas Tech in the 1993 West Regional finals. Colorado has never been to the Final Four.
George Washington (26-6) had rallied from 17 points down in the final five minutes to beat Drake in a second-round game last Sunday. But with All-America point guard Shelley Scheetz running the show, Colorado maintained its poise throughout and ended the Colonials’ 10-game winning streak.
George Washington did chop a 22-point lead to 12 with 3 minutes left, only to go scoreless the rest of the way.
Scheetz added 15 points for Colorado, Amy Palmer had 13 and Regan Scott 10.
George Washington’s top three scorers all failed to reach their season averages. Debbie Hemery led with 15 points, Darlene Saar scored 10 and Tajama Abraham had 9. Hemery averages 19.6 points, Saar 16.2 and Abraham 13.9.
Colorado made six straight shots in racing to a 14-2 lead and the Buffaloes were on top the rest of the way.
The closest George Washington would get was 16-12 on Martha Williams’ layup with 11:55 left in the first half. Palmer then hit two 3-pointers and Fijalkowski converted a three-point play to key a 15-2 run that stretched the lead to 31-14.
Colorado led 45-33 at halftime and began the second half with a 12-4 run to go up by 20. The lead wavered between 18 and 22 before George Washington made a run at the end.
Saar’s 3-pointer drew the Colonials to 70-55 and Colleen McCrea scored on a drive with 3:02 left, capping a 9-3 run that cut the lead to 73-61. That was it for George Washington, however.
Scott scored on a putback of a Scheetz miss and Scheetz pulled up for a jumper, making it 77-61 with 2:06 to play. Colorado then finished the job with its defense.