Foul trouble and yet another poor second-half performance robbed the Colonials of what would have been a key road win against Richmond Wednesday evening. The loss underscores late-game fatigue that head coach Karl Hobbs referred to after a home loss to Rhode Island this week.
The guard-heavy Richmond Spiders (11-9, 5-2 Atlantic 10) erased GW’s five-point halftime lead and rallied behind extensive free-throw shooting to outscore the Colonials (10-10, 3-6 A-10) in the second half for a 61-53 win. Richmond’s 36 free-throw attempts set a new school record, and the 25 the Spiders sunk turned the game around.
Chris Monroe scored a game-high 24 points at the Robins Center, while Richmond’s Reggie Brown scored a team-high 22 points and guard Mike Skrocki scored 18 mostly on free throws.
For Richmond, the win caps a three-game home winning streak that includes a win over Temple. GW stretched its losing streak to five games, matching last year’s longest.
What’s more troubling for Hobbs is the consistency with which GW crumbles in the second half. Once again, the Colonials had a major scoring drought, which lasted nearly 14 minutes. GW was held scoreless in the final eight minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second. Meanwhile Richmond went on a 30-10 scoring run, in which guard Mike Skrocki scored 10 of his 14 second-half points to overcome a 31-23 deficit. Skrocki was 13-for-15 from the charity stripe.
In the next 10 minutes, Skrocki and Brown lifted Richmond to a 53-41 lead with 3:38 remaining. GW would not get closer than four points.
Freshman guard T.J. Thompson had another disappointing performance. Thompson is coming off a poor game against Rhode Island Sunday. The freshman scored 7 points in 33 minutes, dishing out eight assists in the embarrassing home loss. Against Richmond, Thompson’s numbers declined across the board. He scored just three points in 28 minutes of action, dished out five assists and gave the ball away six times before fouling out.
Three-point specialist Greg Collucci, who scored nine points in 34 minutes, was hampered by four fouls. Sophomore guard Marquin Chandler fouled out after playing just 13 minutes. The GW bench was charged with a technical foul early in the second half.
While GW won the rebounding contest 39-37, Richmond doesn’t field a particularly tall team.