Posted March 13, 4:09 p.m.
DAYTON, Ohio–In a season that saw the GW men’s basketball team play well enough to beat some of the nation’s top teams yet finish painfully short of actually doing so, perhaps it is only fitting that the Colonials ended the 2002-03 campaign with the same recurring theme.
After trailing No. 10 (Associated Press) Xavier by as many as 14 points in the second half of Thursday’s Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals, the Colonials cut the Musketeers’ lead to three with seven minutes remaining only to lose by five, 78-73.
“We had a chance with a few free throws and lay-ups, and had we made those shots it could have been the difference in the game,” GW head coach Karl Hobbs said. “Down the stretch we had an opportunity to win the game and got the looks but the shots didn’t fall.”
Senior Chris Monroe led the Colonials with 22 points in the final game of his college career but could not counter a combined 47 points and 20 rebounds from Xavier’s David West and Romain Sato. The Colonials’ second leading scorer of the game, sophomore Tamal Forchion, had 15 points.
GW finishes the season 12-17, a half game below last season’s 12-16 mark and the program’s fourth consecutive year with 15 or more losses despite the improvement in competitiveness. Individual high notes of the season for the Colonials included Monroe becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer at 2,249 career points and A-10 All Rookie Team honors for freshman Mike Hall, who had seven points and 10 rebounds in Thursday’s loss.
The Colonials will lose Monroe but will return four starters next season.
“We look at the five players we brought in (this year) because they are strong student athletes,” Hobbs said. “They can academically excel at GW and they bring so much to the court. We are succeeding as a program and headed in the right direction.”