Billikens improve offense, GW falls

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 13 — About 15 minutes into the GW men’s basketball team’s 63-38 loss at Saint Louis Wednesday night, a big cheer filled Scottrade Center. Many of the 8,052 fans began to sarcastically chant the number 21 after the Billikens’ Tommie Liddell III hit a jumper to give his team a 21-10 lead.

The cause for the cheer dates back to the last meeting between the two teams, when the Colonials handed the Billikens an embarrassing 49-20 loss at Smith Center, a record for the fewest points scored by one team in a Division I game since the inception of the shot clock in the 1985-1986 season.

“(That loss) might have weighed on us for a day or so, maybe a little more,” said Saint Louis’ Bryce Husak, who led all scorers Wednesday with 15 points. “I know everyone’s talking about it. We got a nice little round of applause after 20 points. But we just wanted to get the win. Just wanted to continue with our winning streak.”

Although GW (6-14, 2-8 Atlantic 10) did not find quite as much trouble scoring as Saint Louis did during the Jan. 10 contest at Smith Center, the Colonials were not much better. GW was held to just under 30 percent shooting and 14 points in the first half.

The loss now puts GW at 0-10 on the road this season, a trend that head coach Karl Hobbs said shows the somewhat split nature of his basketball team.

“We’re two different teams,” Hobbs said. “One team at home and another on the road.”

But in the standings, a loss is a loss. And this defeat in Missouri continues to drive a wedge between Hobbs’ squad and its hopes to return to Atlantic City for the A-10 tournament. Last year, GW won the A-10 championship to secure its third NCAA tournament bid in as many years.

But furthermore, the loss to the Billikens is perhaps most upsetting because it comes just four days after the Colonials upset Dayton at Smith Center. In that game, GW had stayed in the game the entire contest and never allowed the Flyers to gather any sort of momentum. The Billikens, in contrast, were in control for almost the entire final 30 minutes, answering almost every GW shot and keeping the Colonials from retaliating.

Junior Rob Diggs, who had 29 points against Dayton, again led his squad but this time only had 14 points. Classmate Cheyenne Moore had eight points, all in-a-row midway through the second half, in what was the only real semblance of a GW player consistently connecting.

After the Dayton game, Diggs was relieved to finally pick up a win, which had not come since the victory over the Billikens. But this time around, Diggs would not comment on the game.

The Colonials have six games left the season, including three on the road. Their next contest is also away from Smith Center, at St. Bonaventure in Olean, N.Y. The Bonnies are currently tied with GW for last place in the conference.

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