Posted 2:00 a.m. Dec. 31 –GW’s three biggest players fouled out in a 97-87 home loss to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Friday evening, making it impossible for a five-guard lineup to overcome a 15-point second half deficit. The loss ends both GW’s three-game winning streak and its non-conference schedule (7-4).
Forwards Tamal Forchion and Darrio Scott and center Jaason Smith amassed five fouls each in the loss, leaving the Colonials no presence under the glass. All three had two rebounds a piece.
Their absence allowed the 49ers to out-rebound GW 47-29, though the Colonials tied Charlotte on the offensive glass with 12 rebounds.
The Colonials hadn’t played a game in 21 days. They were rusty, and it showed most in their shooting, which grew progressively worse. Shooting percentage dropped from 43 percent in the first half to 39 percent in the second half and failed to compensate for GW’s poor post game.
It did not help that Charlotte’s guard duo combined for 53 points. Jobey Thomas scored 29 points, and Cam Stephens posted a career-high 24 points. Stephens capitalized on GW’s lack of size by grabbing 15 rebounds, 13 of which came on the defensive end.
GW’s high scorer was Chris Monroe, who had 26 points. Monroe shot 11-for-15 from the free-throw line and dropped three three-pointers. Greg Collucci, GW’s go-to man when the team is down, went 3-of-8 from long range.
Charlotte (6-5) head coach Bobby Lutz said his team came into the game with an advantage having played a game seven days before Saturday’s contest.
“It’s not ideal to have that many games off, even though you can put a lot effort into practice and prepare for your next game,” he said of the Colonials situation, according to GW Sports Information.
GW failed to make this its fifth double-digit comeback, although the men did make two small runs with the game winding down. With about 10 minutes remaining, GW cut the 49ers lead to six points, the closest the Colonials would come.
Monroe led the charge by drawing fouls and hitting from the charity stripe. He was helped by Thompson and Collucci, who scored 18 and 19 points, respectively.
Still, GW could not overcome a strong Charlotte first half, in which the 49ers went ahead 47-33 on 52 percent shooting.
On Thursday St. Bonaventure comes to D.C. high off an upset of the University of Connecticut Saturday evening. The Bonnies feature possibly the A-10s strongest backcourt in J.R. Bremer and Marques Green.
Bremer, at 6-foot-2, averages 25 points a game. Green, a 5-foot-2
sophomore, averages 17 points and five assists a game.
After the Colonials loss against Charlotte, GW head coach Karl Hobbs looked ahead to his first A-10 game against the most productive team in his conference.
“When you look at what they’ve done, who they beat, and how they beat them, there’s no doubt in my mind they’re the best team in the league,” Hobbs said about St. Bonaventure, according to GW Sports Information.