Playing in the friendly confines of the Smith Center, the GW men’s basketball team blew out Xavier Jan. 28 by 21 points. On Wednesday night, the Musketeers defended their home court equally well, defeating the Colonials 83-66 in front of 10,250 at the Cintas Center.
At one point in the second half, Xavier (18-10, 9-6 A 10) led by as many as 25 points, as they shot percent nearly 52 percent while holding GW(16-10, 10-5) to under 36 percent from the field. GW Head Coach Karl Hobbs’ squad struggled from the outside, going 5-for-27 from three point range. On Saturday, GW shot 2-for-20 from deep against Richmond.
GW had no answer for Xavier’s Lionel Chalmers, who scored 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting. In the final home game of his career, he did not miss a shot until late in the second half and dished out eight assists.
“Simply, what they did was shoot the ball better than we did and we struggled against the zone,” Hobbs said referring to a 2-3 zone defense that Xavier and Richmond used. “This is the second straight game we could not make a three point shot.”
By winning Wednesday night, Xavier remains in third place in the A-10 West but now is only one game behind the second place Colonials (16-10, 10-5). GW also missed an opportunity to move back into a first place tie with Dayton (21-7, 11-4 A-10), as the Flyers lost to Rhode Island (17-12, 6-9 A-10) Wednesday.
After a season high five game win streak, GW has now lost two in a row. Hobbs said his team needs a strong performance to finish the season at La Salle Saturday before heading into the A-10 Tournament next week.
“The bottom line is this,” he said. “We need to regroup and win one basketball game. We need to stay confident and find a way to turn our defense into offense.”
The road continued to cause problems for the Colonials, who have only won four games away from the Smith Center this year. Junior guard T.J. Thompson struggled for the second straight game, scoring six points on 1-for-9 shooting after scoring eight points on 4-for-15 shooting against Richmond.
Hobbs said he can’t pinpoint the cause for Thompson’s struggles but he acknowledged the importance of the guard’s play.
“I wish I had the answer for you,” Hobbs said. “The last five games he’s really struggled shooting. He’s gotta find his way out of it, and in a hurry.”
GW was never really in the game beyond the first half. After trailing 41-31 at the break, the Colonials cut the lead to eight early in the second half, but that was a close as they would get.
Sophomore Mike Hall had a solid game for GW with nine points and ten rebounds. Freshman guard Carl Elliott added15 points and fellow rookie J.R. Pinnock scored 14 points.