It was a game the GW men’s basketball team had a chance to win. The Colonials entered the University of Dayton Arena Saturday afternoon coming off a 30-point pounding of Rhode Island with Chris Monroe back in uniform. They had an ESPN audience, a healthy roster and chance to build on a two-game winning streak with back-to-back home games coming up. The Colonials also were one game behind Dayton for fifth place in the conference. The top five teams earn a first-round bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament beginning March 7 in Philadelphia. But, once again, GW’s strong effort just wasn’t enough.
A-10 Rookie of the Week Ramod Marshall scored 23 points as the Dayton Flyers overcame a three-point halftime deficit and defeated the Colonials 82-79 in front of 13,553. The loss was GW’s 14th of the season and their seventh in conference play. The Colonials have not held a .500 record or better in A-10 play this season. The loss comes the same weekend that GW’s next two opponents – Fordham and Massachusetts – both lost in convincing fashion. The Rams lost 88-78 to first-place St. Joseph’s Sunday, while Temple crushed host UMass 84-52 Saturday afternoon.
Down 83-77, GW’s SirValiant Brown hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to cut the Colonials’ deficit to three points. But GW could not find a defensive stop as the Flyers converted on their next possession. Despite scoring four more baskets in the final minute, GW never came within three points.
The key run in the game was sparked by Marshall, who led Dayton’s charge at the start of the second half. Down 35-32 at the break, the Flyers stormed out of the gate and led by as many as 14 points with less than 12 minutes remaining. A 12-3 GW run cut Dayton’s lead to 63-58 with less than five minutes to play.
Brown scored 10 of his team-high 23 points from the foul line while Monroe added 17 in his return. After a one-game suspension,. Mike King scored 15 and Jaason Smith had 10 points in 28 minutes. Attila Cosby managed just four points in 13 minutes of action.
Marshall was one of five Flyers in double-digits. Tony Stanley scored 14 points behind a 3-for-8 three-point shooting performance. Dayton made five more three-point attempts in the game.
GW will battle Fordham Wednesday night at the Smith Center. The Colonials lost to the Rams 80-75 at Madison Square Garden last month.