BRONX, N.Y., Jan. 16 — There could have been many things that upset senior Maureece Rice during the GW men’s basketball team’s 66-53 loss to Fordham Wednesday night. But with just a touch over two minutes left in the game, Rice’s disappointment was on display.
After a 19-3 run erased a 13-point halftime deficit. Rice threw a pass to junior Cheyenne Moore that soared out of bounds. He quickly turned, shook his head and mumbled under his breath. It may have been just one of 16 team turnovers, but that play seemed to signal finality in front of 2,296 in Rose Hill Gym.
“We had turned the game around. We got it together and were on the same page and knew what we had to do,” Rice said after the game. “When I turned the ball over I was kind of mad at myself. We were just running up and down and getting the game back and then we turned the ball over. Then it started slipping out of our hands.”
Intensity is something the Colonials (5-7, 1-1 Atlantic 10) have appeared to lack the entire season. The loss to Fordham extends GW’s road losing streak to six games.
In the first half against the Rams (7-8, 1-2 A-10), GW once again lacked the spark necessary to contend. The Rams kept a pace that allowed them to start out with the edge and build on it, as they led by as many as 14 in the first half.
Things were different when the second period began. The Colonials came out with fire, coming back and leading 43-40 midway through the half. But then Fordham remembered its key to success in the first half – shooting – and made a few jumpers and three-pointers to take back the momentum.
“When you look at this basketball team, they shot the ball very well,” Hobbs said of Fordham. “They made most of them in the first half. Those first 10 minutes in the first half were critical.”
Hobbs added that the Rams’ ability to tack on second-chance points, of which Fordham had 17, broke his team down. Rice said Hobbs told the team at the half that it had to keep Fordham from getting offensive rebounds.
“(When we kept them from getting those rebounds), their scoring stopped for a while,” Rice said. “Once we started letting it happen, we started losing again.”
The Rams were without head coach Dereck Whittenburg, who was ill. Hobbs complimented assistant coach Travis Lyons for keeping his composure the entire game. Lyons’ squad did the same, not giving up when the Colonials quickly caught up and took the lead. The loss of senior Bryant Dunston, who got banged up at the start of the second half and never recovered, caused Fordham to adjust its offensive and defensive schemes. While it was doing so, the Colonials were able to make its run. It was once the Rams figured out how to play without an effective Dunston that they ran away with the lead.
GW next hosts No. 20 Xavier Saturday at 8 p.m. The Musketeers lost to Temple by 19 Wednesday night.