Posted Saturday, Jan. 28, 5:20 p.m.
If you look up the term “statement game” in a basketball dictionary, Saturday afternoon’s 81-62 win over Rhode Island may show up. The No. 14/15 GW men’s basketball team bolstered its ranking after erasing a six-point halftime deficit to top the Rams 81-62 in front of an announced crowd of 5,000 at the Smith Center.
In the second half, Rhode Island was held to 18.5 percent shooting and only 17 points. Coach Karl Hobbs said that at halftime, he knew his team needed to slow down.
“I told them to settle down and they need to relax. I wanted to assure them that I was under control,” Hobbs, who picked up a technical foul in the first half, said. “They were playing the way I was acting. I am acting. That’s exactly what I was going. You guys relax and play and settle down we needed to step up our defense and limited them to one shot. They got some momentum going. That’s a good basketball. That’s a tough basketball team. Tough minded.”
Junior Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock had 18 points, four assists and five rebounds in 34 minutes. Senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu had his second straight double-double, with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 forward shot an uncharacteristic 9-for-14 from the free throw line. Junior Carl Elliott had 13 points and four assists while senior Omar Williams had 10 points on 3-for-9 shooting.
Rhode Island (11-7, 5-2 Atlantic 10) got 19 points from Dawan Robinson and 11 from Jimmy Baron, son of Rhode Island head coach Jim Baron. Maryland-native Jamaal Wise had 10 points.
The Colonials were up 23-11 with 12:09 remaining in the first half when the Rams turned their “A” game on. GW allowed Rhode Island to open up a 34-16 run for the rest of the half to give them a 45-39 lead.
GW hits the road Thursday to face Xavier in Cincinnati. The Colonials have never won in the Cintas Center.