The wins are not coming easily for the GW men’s basketball team, but at least they are coming. The Colonials (6-3) clawed back from a 13-point first-half deficit Wednesday night to pull out a four-point win over Old Dominion University, thanks to 28 points from leading scorer Chris Monroe. Against Princeton University Monday night, GW nearly blew a nine-point lead in the final minutes following a barrage of Tiger three-pointers in the consolation round of the BB&T Classic. T.J. Thompson’s clutch free throw shooting down the stretch sealed the win.
GW has improved to 6-3 with just two games remaining in its non-conference schedule. The team is playing better than anyone expected, but all of the team’s six wins have come with question marks.
The Colonials waited 39 minutes before taking their first and final lead of the game. With 36 seconds remaining, T.J. Thompson picked up a loose ball off a Troy Nance miss, ran the length of the court and powered in for a lay-up to give GW a 66-64 lead. GW forced a turnover on the ensuing drive, and Tamal Forchion capped the team’s possession with a game-ending jam in what ended a 9-0 run.
Games against the Monarchs (4-2) typically come down to the wire for GW. Five of the past six contests were decided by two points or less. Early on, it appeared ODU would win the game by much more than that. The Colonials were down by as much as 13 points in the first half following a Darnell Miller foul on ODU’s Rasheed Wright. Thirteen consecutive points from Chris Monroe pulled GW within eight points, 33-25 with about six minutes remaining in the first half. Then Monroe hit GW’s final four points in the half, pulling GW within four points at the break, 37-33.
After an ODU basket, Greg Collucci drilled a long three-pointer making it a 55-54 game. Collucci came up big again at the free throw line. With less than two minutes remaining, Collucci drew a foul at the three-point line. Normally a 50 percent shooter from the charity stripe, Collucci hit all three to bring the Colonials to within two.
Jaason Smith picked up his second consecutive double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Forchion stepped up with 13 points and eight rebounds. Collucci, who had 23 points in Monday’s game against Princeton, had eight points.