WEB UPDATE: After scare, GW pulls away from Longwood

Maybe GW head men’s basketball coach Karl Hobbs expected something out of Longwood University’s basketball team that others did not.

After Tuesday night’s game against Dartmouth, a reporter was cut off by Hobbs mid-sentence while asking about the GW men’s basketball team’s game against Providence College Nov. 26.

“When we play Longwood (Friday), we’ll focus and try to beat them and we won’t try to think about anybody beyond that because that’s not how we do at GW,” Hobbs said.

The Colonials may not have been looking ahead towards Providence, but they certainly were not focusing in the first half against a Longwood team in just its third full season in Division I. The Lancers led 35-27 at halftime before GW went on one of its signature runs and won 74-60.

“I told them number one, we need to relax,” Hobbs said about his halftime advice. “We need to focus, we need to play defense and we need to stop somebody.”

Junior Maureece Rice led all scorers with a quiet 23 points. Sophomore forward Rob Diggs had his first career double-double (22 points and 10 rebounds), continuing a streak of good play to start the season. Diggs was instrumental in GW’s comeback with six offensive rebounds, three of which were tip-ins, during the second half. He also had the highlight of the night, a left-handed alley-oop from Rice that sent the 3,364 in attendance at the Smith Center into frenzy.

Senior Carl Elliott, who played nearly flawlessly in GW’s first two games, struggled throughout, shooting 2 for 12 and turning the ball over five times. Elliott played all but four minutes of the game, but looked out of rhythm, even missing a wide-open breakaway lay-up.

GW faces Kennesaw State in Kennesaw, Ga., Tuesday followed by Providence in Rhode Island.

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