Saturday, Feb. 23, 5:42 p.m.
For the first time since its first two games of the season, the GW men’s basketball team put together back-to-back victories, with the latter coming in a 59-53 victory over Richmond Saturday afternoon at Smith Center in front of 3,129.
Led by junior Rob Diggs’ 20 points and his refusal to let his team get down when it quickly fell behind by 20 points, the Colonials (8-14, 4-8 Atlantic 10) kept the game within reach all afternoon and took the lead just about halfway through the second half.
“I knew my team might get discouraged,” Diggs said after the game. “I just wanted to keep us on the boards and energize us.”
Diggs had just two points after the break, but his offensive futility was offset by sophomore Damian Hollis, who had 14 of his 16 points in the second period. The Colonials made just six field goals in the second half but were lifted by shooting almost 92 percent from the line.
“It’s frustrating because we’re ahead by seven at the half and they had six field goals in the second half,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said of his team’s inability to keep GW from the charity stripe.
“I thought our defense was okay, pretty good, in fact,” Mooney added.
But it was GW’s defense that prevailed, as the Spiders (14-11, 7-5 A-10) missed three of their last four field goals and shot just 36.7 percent on the day.
“That was the difference in the game,” GW head coach Karl Hobbs said of his team’s defense. “Their guards are terrific. They’re really good players. They know how to play with each other. We did a good job communicating. Other than the first four or five minutes, our defense was pretty good for the rest of the day.”
The Colonials next face Rhode Island Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m at Smith Center. The two teams played just more than a month ago in Kingston, R.I. and the Rams took that one, 81-70.