It looked more like a show the Harlem Globetrotters would perform than the GW men’s basketball team. The Colonials’ 77-62 win over Mount St. Mary’s Saturday afternoon was a chance for them to show off a little bit, putting on a display of athleticism, skill and a few dazzling dunks.
First there was junior Rob Diggs’ high-flying alley-oop, which came after a perfect feed from sophomore Damian Hollis, nine minutes into the game.
Then junior Cheyenne Moore showed off on a breakaway six minutes later, taking off just in front of the Atlantic 10 logo in the paint and serving a windmill slam.
And junior Wynton Witherspoon was not to be outdone, jumping over a defender on the baseline and parallel to the hoop to drive the points, literally and figuratively, home: This team is comfortable with the high-flying brand of basketball and it is not afraid to show it.
With the exception of Witherspoon, who had 20 points, the Colonials (1-0) appeared to have forgotten how to do that in a 74-71 overtime win against Division II University of the District of Columbia Oct. 31. During that game, GW was sluggish and lacked any sort of real spark, trudging along and finally pulling out the victory in what felt more like hours than 45 minutes.
The energy that Karl Hobbs-coached teams are known for was back against the Mountaineers, and the three dunks were just the beginning.
“Everyone is just excited to play. It’s the first game,” Diggs said. “A lot of adrenaline. We do what each and every person is capable of doing.”
Against Mount St. Mary’s, the crowd saw, and showed its appreciation for, at least three players’ capabilities. With each consecutive dunk came a bigger frenzy from the bleachers, culminating in Wytherspoon’s baseline bash.” It was a fantastic play,” Hobbs said. “We’ve had some terrific dunks in this building. That has to go right up there with one of those. It brought a little bit of excitement to us and a little bit more energy to the defense.”
“When I went by the guy (as I was heading toward the basket), I was just like, ‘This is my chance right here, ESPN,'” Witherspoon said with a smile and a tone that made his normally stern coach chuckle. If the game against Mount St. Mary’s was anything, it was exciting. While the Colonials are known for their run-and-gun style, the extra flair might be just what the squad needs to get four freshmen and Witherspoon, a transfer who played in his first regular season game with GW against the Mountaineers, to mesh.
Hobbs meanwhile said that he thinks there could be a correlation between the highlight reel-worthy plays and his team’s success.
He said, “If we can get 10 of those dunks a game, we’re going to win a lot of games.”