Friday, January 11, 1:08 a.m.
For the second time in two weeks, a basketball team scored less than 30 points at Smith Center. Last week it was the women’s team over Brown University. This time, it was the GW men’s basketball team that dismantled Atlantic 10 rival Saint Louis 49-20 in front of 3,213 in Foggy Bottom.
The Billikens’ (9-6, 0-1 A-10) 20 points is the lowest in college basketball since the 1986 implementation of the shot clock. It is also the lowest by a GW opponent at Smith Center. And for a Colonial team off to its worst start in almost two decades, the win could serve as a needed pick-me-up as conference play begins in an A-10 with three nationally-ranked teams.
Thus far, the Colonials (5-6, 1-0 A-10) have not yet found an identity, a centerpiece of Coach Karl Hobbs post-game comments. They are winless in five road games and rely on former walk-ons for on-court productivity. But Hobbs said his team’s most immediate problem is carrying out its game plan.
“It’s all about us being able to execute,” Hobbs said after the win. “We have not been able to do that all year. It’s going in there with a game plan and being able to execute.”
In 11 games, the Colonials have shuffled through seven versions of a starting lineup. The lineup Thursday night produced 40 of the teams 49 points, with only senior Dominic Green chipping in with three points and junior Wynton Witherspoon adding four.
Also, the Colonials set up in a three-two zone – a setup rarely used by Hobbs. While he said they might use zone again, Hobbs conceded that everything could change in GW’s next game Jan. 16 at Fordham.
“We’re a team that is really searching for an identity and we’re trying to find that and we’re trying to find a comfortable way to play,” Hobbs said.
Only sophomore Damian Hollis (13 points) and senior Maureece Rice (12 points) scored in double figures in GW’s 40 percent effort from the field. But the Billikens were horribly ineffective from the field. No player scored more than five points and the team only managed 14.6 percent from the floor.