Saturday’s home loss against Temple exemplified what has gone wrong for the Colonials during their current seven-game losing streak. GW displayed streaky shooting and sloppy passing in the most recent loss and dug themselves into a large first-half hole.
For the seventh straight game, poor first-half shooting and turnovers cost the Colonials as they fell to the Owls 80-58. Opponents have outscored the Colonials 32-25 in the first half during the losing streak. Temple took a 33-15 lead into the break on Saturday.
GW (10-12, 3-8 A-10) only managed 15 first-half points on just under 18 percent shooting. The men scored only six points in the last 10 minutes of the half. The Colonials shot an appalling five for 28 from the field, including 0-for-13 shooting from behind the arc during the first 20 minutes.
The Colonials are short on size, which forces them to rely on the shooting game.
Greg Collucci, the team’s three-point specialist, missed all seven attempts he made from three-point range in the first half and connected on one of 11 attempts from the outside in the game and two for twelve overall. GW as a team shot 5-27 from the three-point line, with Chris Monroe hitting the team’s first three five minutes into the second half.
“If you look at the shots we got, they were open shots and they didn’t go down,” head coach Karl Hobbs said. “I just thought we missed a lot of good open looks.”
Recently teams have gone on extended runs, which GW has been unable to overcome. The losing streak began with a 10-0 run by the Xavier Musketeers on Jan. 17. GW has seen St. Joseph’s go on a 19-4 run and Rhode Island on an 18-1 run. Temple started the game by scoring 23 of the first 32 points in the game and ended it on a 16-6 run.
Balls are getting away from the young team. GW is averaging nearly 17 turnovers a game during their recent slide. The Temple game was no exception as the Colonials turned the ball over 20 times, 10 in each half.
“I thought we had a little too many turnovers,” Hobbs said.
Not only have inconsistent shooting and turnovers hurt the Colonials, five of their last seven losses have come against teams with winning streaks. Xavier was in the midst of the longest Division I winning streak in the nation, having won 12 straight games until it lost to St. Bonaventure Saturday. St. Joseph’s was in the middle of a six-game winning streak when the team beat the Colonials. Richmond and Massachusetts beat GW during three-game winning streaks. And now, Temple has won four straight games.
Hobbs said, “It seems ironic all the teams the I look at, right before they play us, they seem to be playing great.”
Put in a difficult position, Hobbs has already matched some expectations with a strong non-conference performance. He can thank Chris Monroe, the team’s consistent bright spot for much of the success of the early season. Monroe, who is averaging 21.8 points and 6.4 rebounds a game this season, had 20 points and a season-high 13 rebounds against a much bigger Owls team. Monroe is the only Colonial averaging more than 10 points per game during the losing streak (22.4 points per game in the last seven games).
“Monroe is as good a player as there is in the country, without question,” Temple head coach John Chaney said. “He can hit outside and he can drive. You just can’t stop him.”
GW looks to end its longest losing streak in 14 seasons as the team travels to Cincinnati to take on Xavier (17-4 overall, 9-1 A-10) on Thursday.