The Colonials entered Saturday night’s match-up against the University of Richmond preparing for what head coach Tom Penders said would be a war earlier in the week. But the team left their tough 84-80 overtime loss thinking about what could have been. A poor first half proved costly in the GW loss. The Colonials managed to hit just one of 15 three-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes. GW shot just 35 percent (25-of-71) for the game.
Sophomore guard Chris Monroe said GW’s lack of execution on both ends of the court were major factors in the team’s first home loss of the season.
We came out and our shots weren’t falling and we were unable to get (offensive) rebounds, Monroe said.
Monroe, usually a force on the boards, managed only five rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Rebounding is something the sophomore prides himself on, but after failing to grab a single rebound against Maryland last Sunday, Monroe knows teams are beginning to work extra hard to keep him of the boards.
Since I am guarding a lot more players on the perimeter, and seeing that I have been rebounding recently, teams have been keying in on me, Monroe said. They need two people boxing me out. If I get around one person there is always someone else there. Even if I am charging in from the three-point line, someone is picking me up at the foul line to put a body on me.
Against Richmond, Monroe was hampered by foul trouble, picking up his fourth personal foul of the game with 14:09 remaining. Penders was forced to sit Monroe with Colonials trailing 46-37.
GW trailed by 10 points when Monroe returned to the game with 7:21 left. Despite being kept off the boards, Monroe hit two crucial three-pointers in a two-minute span that brought the Colonials to within four points with under four minutes to play. That run sparked GW’s second half comeback.
I have to think smart and see how the referees are calling the game, Monroe said. With four fouls, a lot of teams will focus on you and try to get you to pick up that last foul and foul out. I had to play more cautious.
But, early in overtime, GW lost Monroe when he picked up his fifth foul, an important factor in the Colonials’ inability to get to the foul line with both teams in the bonus.
Monroe and the Colonials must regroup quickly from Saturday’s heartbreaker as GW hosts Providence College Monday night.