It’s a similar story game-in and game-out for the Colonials, who lost an 84-80 overtime game to visiting Richmond Saturday night: when sophomore guard SirValiant Brown comes to play a complete game, GW has an unparalleled advantage over its opponents.
Not every team has the nation’s second-leading scorer from a year ago. But when Brown’s shooting becomes erratic and inconsistent, the Colonials’ offense finds itself sputtering. In GW’s 76-64 road loss to a talented University of South Florida team two weeks ago, Brown shot a dismal 3-of-18 from the field and 2-of-12 from behind the arc.
Their cold-shooting first half helped this victory, Richmond coach Jim Beilein said.
Brown found his game in the second half Saturday, scoring 26 of his 28 points, but an ice-cold first half set the Colonials back. He shot 1-of-6 in the first half with his only basket coming on a driving lay-up with 1:17 left in the half. Brown’s other five shots were perimeter attempts, including four from behind the three-point line.
Brown responded well in the second half much in part to his increased dribble penetration into the Richmond defense. He drove to the hoop a total of 11 times in the half, which changed the tempo of the game and gave GW more second shot opportunities. Overall, he shot 8-of-22 and 4-of-11 from three-point range. Brown was also able to score eight points on 10 free-throw attempts in the second half.
There is no question that Brown is GW’s go-to-player. His ability to get red-hot at any moment makes him a dangerous threat to GW opponents. When Richmond’s Reggie Brown hit a three-pointer with 39 seconds left in the second half giving the Spiders a 69-66 lead, Brown stepped off him defensively. Brown then scowled, knowing it was his mistake. No more than five seconds later, Brown stuck his own three at the right of the arc, tying the game and sending it into overtime.
I am trying my best to help the team the best way I can, Brown said.