After a 14-point loss at Xavier Thursday, the GW men’s basketball team traveled to Duquesne with hopes of winning its first season series and ending the team’s longest losing streak since losing 13 straight in 1988-89.
But a 79-69 loss Saturday now crystallizes the notion that GW may not win again this season, and reminds fans that this is not the same team of a month ago, when GW handed visiting Duquesne a 24-point bruising. GW has now dropped eight in a row.
Even though the team looked good early, with the Colonials riding a small lead into the break off Chris Monroe’s 13 first-half points, things quickly slipped away. The Dukes sparked a16-5 run just after Jaason Smith fouled out. Duquesne’s Kevin Forney limited Monroe to two second-half points.
Freshman Tamal Forchion, whose 19 points against Duquesne earned him an A-10 Rookie of the Week award, is giving eager fans something to look forward to.
The Colonials (10-14, 3-10 A-10) have three games remaining before the Atlantic 10 Tournament in March. Karl Hobbs’ team makes its final two home appearances Thursday and Saturday as the Colonials host Dayton and Richmond before traveling to Fordham for the season finale.
Duquesne 79, GW 69
A.J. Palumbo Center
A crucial foul hampered the Colonials’ bid to avoid a ninth-straight loss. GW center Jaason Smith committed his fifth and final foul with the game tied at 46 and little more than 14 minutes remaining Without Smith’s defense or size, the Colonials couldn’t stop a 16-5 Duke run that broke open what had been an evenly matched game. Back-to-back three-pointers from forward Wayne Smith and Brad Midgley gave the Dukes a 61-51 lead en route to a 79-69 win.
Wayne Smith, who scored a game-high 26 points, was perfect in his 13 attempts from the free-throw line after going six-of-15 from the field. Dukes guard Kevin Forney matched his season high with 19 points on seven-of-fifteen shooting.
GW’s A-10 Rookie of the Week Tamal Forchion scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. GW’s leading scorer Chris Monroe scored 15 points and Jaason Smith added 13.
After GW took a 36-34 lead into halftime, Forney held Monroe to two second-half points after the guard scored 13 in the first. Greg Collucci also had trouble scoring, as the guard connected on one-of-five three-pointers for his only points of the game.
Despite out-shooting Duquesne 43 percent to 39 percent, the Dukes used free throws to outscore the Colonials 45-33 in the second half.
Duquesne (9-15, 4-9 A-10) won its fourth of five games while GW (10-14, 3-10 A-10) suffered another loss in the team’s longest losing streak since the 1988-99 season.
Duquesne avoided becoming the first conference team to lose a season series against GW. Back in early January, the Colonials defeated visiting Duquesne by 24 points, with Collucci scoring 21 points on five-of-12 three-pointers.
Xavier 89, GW 75
Once again, an opponent’s scoring run burnt GW as the visiting Colonials fell 89-75 Thursday to Xavier. Xavier started the second half with a 13-4 run to expand a halftime lead to 15. GW cut the lead to seven midway through the second half, but again Xavier (18-4, 10-1 A-10) opened the lead to 15 with a 16-8 run.
GW, the 16-point underdog going into the game, successfully slowed down Xavier big man David West (11 points, 9 rebounds) but could not stop Romain Sato. Sato scored a career-high 34 points on 11-for-17 shooting for the Musketeers.
It was the second time this season Sato led the Musketeers over the Colonials. Sato scored a team-high 23 points in Xavier’s 71-63 defeat of GW last month at the Smith Center.
All five Musketeers starters scored in double figures, with David Young adding 16 points.
The Colonials had five players score in double-figures as well, with freshman point guard T.J. Thompson scoring a team-high 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Thompson scored 14 of his 17 in the first half. Senior Jaason Smith added 15 and grabbed six rebounds. GW’s leading scorer, Chris Monroe, finished with 14.
GW stayed close to Xavier throughout the first half. Thompson hit a three-pointer with six minutes remaining in the first half to tie the game at 29. Xavier answered and took a six-point lead into the locker room, 41-35.