GW can’t overcome its shooting slump
St. Bonaventure hands struggling Colonials third straight defeat
George Washington is finding more ways lately to miss baskets than to make them. As has been happening all too frequently this season, the Colonials’ shooting touch disappeared on them and they struggled to put points on the scoreboard in their 62-49 loss to St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoonatSmithCenter. Itwasthe third time this season GW has been held below 50 points.
“We were playing like there was a lid on that basket,” said GW Coach Karl Hobbs, whose team made only 30.8 percent of its field goal attempts. “It was a struggle throughout the entire game. I thought at some point we’ll make some consecutive shots in a row but for whatever reason we just couldn’t make a shot.”
A strong and loud St. Bonaventure contingent, which helped giveGWits biggest home crowd of the season, 3,136, gave the Bonnies the boost they needed to end their 0-14 streak at Smith Center. They had not won in Washington since Jan. 11, 1989.
The Colonials (10-9,3-2Atlantic 10) lost their third consecutive game in part because they once again failed to capitalize on their opponent’s adversity. St. Bonaventure (10-8, 2-3) collected fouls at a rapid rate, which, in theory, should have favoredGW. The Bonnies’ reserves play the fewest minutes of any team in Division I. Yet when St. Bonaventure’s starters went to the bench in foul trouble, the bench players responded.
Four St. Bonaventure players picked up at least two fouls in the first half, including Ogo Adegboye and AndrewNicholson. Adegboye led the nation in minutes played (40.5) butwasonthe court for only 10 minutes in the first half after accumulating three fouls. He played only 18 minutes before fouling out with 2 minutes 3 seconds remaining in the game.
Nicholson, who leads the conference in scoring at 20.5 points, played only four minutes and didn’t attempt a shot or score a point before halftime. He didn’t score his first point until he made a free throw 36 seconds into the second half, and his first field goal didn’tcomeuntil almost four minutes after halftime, a 15-foot jumper that put the Bonnies ahead, 34-25. Nicholson finished with 13 points.
After David Pellom’s layup put GWahead, 17-16, with 7:47 remaining in the first half, the Colonials didn’t make another field goal until Daymon Warren sank a layup with three seconds left in the half. That was their only field goal during a 15-minute span that bridged the first and second halves.
Even though GW wasn’t making field goals, it was getting plenty of opportunities at the line. The Colonials weren’t doing much with their chances, however. They converted only six of their 11 foul shots in the first half.
There were 43 fouls and 52 free throws in this game, but neither team was proficient at the foul line. GW went 15 of 26, while St. Bonaventure missed 12 of its 26 attempts. Pellom, a 50percent free throw shooter, was the only one having any success at the line. He made all nine of his foul shots to finish with 15 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds for his second career double-double.
The Bonnies focused their defensive efforts on GW’s leading scorer, Tony Taylor, and it showed. Taylor made only 3 of his 11 field goal attempts, finishing with nine points.
“We did a tremendous job of keepingTaylor in front of us,” Bonnies Coach Mark Schmidt said. “I thought that was a huge key for us.”
Opponents have discovered that as Taylor — the only GW player with a double-figure scoring average— goes, so go the Colonials.
“I think anytime Tony Taylor is struggling shooting . . . it’s no secret: If he’s shooting the ball well and playing well, we tend to play a lot better,” Hobbs said.
Early on, GW did a nice job preventing St. Bonaventure from getting more than one shot at the basket. That changed as the game wore on. The Bonnies, who outrebounded the Colonials, 43-32, grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and turned them into 11 points.
Note: Senior forward Jabari Edwards played for the first time since Nov. 22. Edwards, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Dec. 22, played eight minutes and had a nice block.