Posted Tuesday, Aug. 16, 12:22 p.m.
Updated Friday, Aug. 19, 12:01 a.m.
It seems the GW men’s basketball staff forgot to tell junior J.R. Pinnock that the trip to Australia doesn’t count in the standings. The junior continued his strong play, scoring 30 points to lead GW in a 105-100 loss to the Sydney Kings of the NBL in front of 1,050 fans in Sydney’s Sutherland Stadium on Thursday evening. The NBL is Australia’s equivalent of the NBA.
Senior Mike Hall registered 22 points while classmate Omar Williams dropped 16. Sophomore guard Maureece Rice scored 13 while junior Carl Elliott had 10 to round out five Colonials in double figures.
After the intermission, Pinnock connected on a three-pointer to knot the game at 51-51. The second half was close but the Kings were able to convert from the line (28-33) to put the game out of reach.
The Colonials (2-1 on the Australian trip) shot 42.7 percent from the floor while the Kings were 31-for-65 for 47.7 percent. GW out-rebounded their opponent for the third consecutive time, 46-44.
The GW squad has two off days before flying to Cairns to face the Cairns Taipans of the NBL.
Colonials make it two straight down under
After beating the Central Coast Power by 62 points on Tuesday, GW men’s basketball coach Karl Hobbs said he wished the competition was a bit stiffer. Wednesday afternoon, Hobbs’ wish came true.
The Colonials used a late-game scoring spurt to beat Australia’s Institute of Sport 106-87. Junior J.R. Pinnock had a game-high 22 points while classmate Omar Williams had 21. Junior Dokun Akingbade had his second consecutive double-double, with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Federal International Basketball Association rules forced the Colonials to play four 10-minute quarters, a change from the two 20-minute halves in NCAA basketball. GW jumped to a 28-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Australians closed the margin to 10 points with 6:40 left in the contest. Untimely fouls forced Pinnock and big man Alexander Kireev out of the game early.
After talking it over with Hobbs, the Colonials made a late-game run and increased the lead to 21 on pair of treys by junior Mike Hall, who finished with 19 points.
The Colonials pulled down 48 rebounds and forced 23 turnovers while throwing the ball away 12 times.
On Thursday, the Colonials will face the Sydney Kings of the NBL, Australia’s version of the National Basketball Association.
Colonials turn off Power
Last season, the longest trip the GW men’s basketball team made was to Nashville, Tenn., en route to a first-round loss in the NCAA basketball tournament. On Saturday, the Colonials flew an exhausting 18 hours to Australia and still managed on Tuesday to roll over the Central Coast Power, 126-64. The contest was in Gosford, Australia, 90 minutes north of Sydney.
Junior J.R. Pinnock set the pace for the Colonials with a game-high 29 points on 12-for-22 shooting, and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Sophomore Maureece Rice chipped in with 22 points followed by senior Omar Williams’ 20. Senior Mike Hall recorded a double-double, with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while junior Dokun Akingbade scored 15 points along with 11 boards. GW shot 48.5 percent from the floor, throwing up 103 shots. The Colonials successfully stopped the Power with 26 steals, with Hall, Rice and Elliot recording six apiece.
Most notably missing from the box score is senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who didn’t make the trip to Australia with the Colonials. The London native is currently working out with the English national team.
Coach Karl Hobbs sat this game out, watching from a press box while assistant Darrell Brooks took control of his veteran squad.
The Colonials’ next contest will be on Wednesday against the Australian Institute of Sports, an Olympic development squad.