Colo­nials can’t cash in against Crim­son

Short-handed Har­vard comes back to end GW’s win streak at 5

The Washington Post Sunday - - COURTSIDE - BY KATHY OR­TON or­tonk@wash­post.com

Ge­orgeWash­ing­ton’s best op­por­tu­nity to put the game away came early in the sec­ond half. Har­vard’s lead­ing scorer had just limped off the court with an in­jury to his mid­sec­tion that even­tu­ally sent him to the hos­pi­tal as a pre­cau­tion. The Crim­son’s point guard picked up his fourth foul less than a minute later. Its sec­ond-lead­ing scorer had left the game late in the first half with a hip in­jury.

As de­pleted as Har­vard was, the Colo­nials failed to cap­i­tal­ize on the Crim­son’s mis­for­tunes and lost, 67-62, on Satur­day af­ter­noon at Smith Cen­ter. The loss was only the sec­ond for GW (10-7) in more than a month and snapped the Colo­nials’ fiveg­ame win­ning streak.

When GW looks back on this set­back, the Colo­nials will shake their heads at a num­ber of squan­dered op­por­tu­ni­ties. Their pres­sure de­fense that had caused Har­vard (12-3) fits early went missing much of the sec­ond half. They al­lowed Crim­son play­ers to drive past them or fouled them rather than stop­ping them. And, most egre­gious of all in GW Coach Karl Hobbs’s mind, they gave up too many sec­ond shots.

“I thought it was a game that re­ally came down to our in­abil­ity to keep them off the of­fen­sive glass in the sec­ond half,” Hobbs said. “I thought that was the dif­fer­ence in the game.”

Al­though Har­vard grabbed 15 of­fen­sive re­bounds, which it turned into 15 points, the Crim­son did even more dam­age at the free throw line. Har­vard leads the nation in free throw shoot­ing per­cent­age, hav­ing made 81.3 per­cent of its foul shots en­ter­ing Satur­day’s game. On this day, the Crim­son wasn’t quite up to par, mak­ing only 71.4 per­cent of its free throws, but al­most a third of its points (20) came from the line.

GW com­mit­ted 25 fouls, send­ing Har­vard to the free throw line 28 times. The Colo­nials, mean­while, at­tempted only 16 foul shots, mak­ing 10.

“Well, you know, I can’t re­ally com­ment on the of­fi­ci­at­ing,” said Hobbs, who re­ceived a tech­ni­cal foul just 6½ min­utes into the game af­ter ar­gu­ing a charge called on Tony Tay­lor. Har­vard drew at least four charges against the Colo­nials.

Not long af­ter the first sched­uled time­out of the sec­ond half, the mo­men­tum shifted against GW. The Colo­nials had gone up 41-34 on David Pel­lom’s al­ley­oop dunk and seemed poised to break the game open. But then the Colo­nials started hav­ing trou­ble putting the ball in the bas­ket. Af­ter mak­ing 48.1 per­cent of its shots in the first half, GW strug­gled against Har­vard’s zone de­fense, mak­ing only 37.9 per­cent of its shots from the floor af­ter half­time.

“ They played a packed-in 13-1,” said Tay­lor, who led GW with 14 points. “ They haven’t re­ally played that all sea­son. It was a real dif­fer­ent look. We had to make ad­just­ments. I think that kind of slowed us down.”

Har­vard had ev­ery rea­son to lose hope af­ter its lead­ing scorer, Kei­thWright, hob­bled off the court clutch­ing his mid­sec­tion a lit­tle more than five min­utes into the sec­ond half. Wright joined the Crim­son’s sec­ondlead­ing scorer, Chris­tian Webster (Lan­don), on the bench where Webster was nurs­ing a hip in­jury he sus­tained late in the first half. Nei­therWright nor Webster re­turned to the game.

When point guard Bran­dyn Curry picked up his fourth foul and sat down with 13:51 re­main­ing, Har­vard could have faded. In­stead, the Crim­son surged be­hind the savvy play of Oliver McNally and fresh­man Lau­rent Ri­vard.

Ri­vard sank a three-pointer to tie the score at 50, then McNally sank an­other three to cap a 13-3 run by Har­vard that put the Crim­son ahead, 55-51. GW never led again.

With its non­con­fer­ence slate com­plete, the Colo­nials now turn their at­ten­tion back to At­lantic 10 Con­fer­ence play. GW, which is 3-0 in the con­fer­ence for the first time since the 2005-06 sea­son, vis­its Rich­mond (13-5, 2-1) on Wed­nes­day.

“It’s a long sea­son, and now we’re go­ing into the sec­ond phase of the sea­son,” Hobbs said. “ This is all a part of it. You take one game at a time, and now we’ve just got to look at this game tonight, then af­ter to­mor­row we will to­tally for­get this game and our fo­cus will be on Rich­mond, and we’ll block ev­ery­thing else out of our minds and find a way to beat Rich­mond.”

PHO­TOS BY TONI L. SANDYS/WASHINGTON POST

Har­vard’s Kyle Casey (30) cor­rals the re­bound de­spite be­ing fouled by Ge­orgeWash­ing­ton’s Joseph Katuka (42) in the sec­ond half.

Ge­orgeWash­ing­ton Coach Kar­lHobbs watches as his team fails to put awayHar­vard in the Colo­nials’ 67-62 loss at Smith Cen­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.