The GW men’s basketball team followed up one of its best defensive performances of the season with one of its worst Wednesday, as the Colonials lost at Duquesne 78-73. The loss kept GW winless on the road in conference play.
The game featured a wild finish. With Duquesne leading 75-68 and less than two minutes to play, GW scored two quick baskets to cut the deficit to three. After a Dukes traveling violation gave GW the ball back, freshman Pops Mensah-Bonsu was hammered attempting a dunk and Duquesne’s Ron Dokes was called for a flagrant foul. Mensah-Bonsu converted 1-of-2 from the line and GW retained possession, looking for a shot to tie or take the lead.
Senior guard Chris Monroe went for the lead, but his deep three-point attempt was no good. Duquesne got the rebound and the Dukes’ Elijah Palmer was fouled, sending him to the line for a one and one.
Palmer missed the first free throw, but the Dukes’ Brad Midgley got a long rebound and was fouled. The senior forward only made one of two free throws, and GW had a final possession trailing by three.
Again, Monroe took a three-pointer, and again, he could not connect. Midgley would add two more free throws to finish the game.
GW head coach Karl Hobbs said he had no problem with either of Monroe’s attempts.
“(On) the first one, he had a good look, and (on) the second, he had to make a quick decision,” Hobbs said. “We didn’t lose the game because of those shots.”
Instead, Hobbs said, GW lost the game because of its defense.
“We had no kind of resistance on defense,” he said. “We were out-muscled and manhandled inside.”
The statistics proved Hobbs’ point, as GW was out-rebounded 30-18 and allowed 42 points in the paint. Duquesne also shot 58 percent from the floor.
Hobbs called Sunday’s 64-50 win against Richmond “our best defensive game of the entire year,” but Wednesday’s performance was quite the opposite.
“Every time they needed a basket, they could just go inside,” Hobbs said.
GW held a 48-41 lead early in the second half, but the momentum quickly changed sides. In less than two minutes, Duquesne went on a 10-0 run that included two turnovers by sophomore T.J. Thompson.
For Hobbs, that key stretch had a familiar problem.
“Even with the two turnovers, we had a letdown on the defensive end,” Hobbs said. “You can’t afford that because these games can change just that quickly.”
Tricco had 21 points to lead Duquesne. The Gonzaga transfer also went 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Monroe led GW with 21 points, while Thompson added 15.
GW’s next game is critical in the Atlantic 10 West standings, as the No. 5 Colonials host No. 4 La Salle at the Smith Center Saturday at 2 p.m.