As many of you GW basketball fans probably know, the men’s team recently won on the road at perennial Atlantic 10 cellar dweller St. Bonaventure, putting together a solid 40 minutes away from Smith Center for pretty much the first time this season. The Colonials showed signs of possibly making a late-season push to sneak into the conference tournament in March in Atlantic City (the bottom two teams in the conference do not get in; the Bonnies are currently the only squad below GW in the standings).
What fans may not know is that this was the Colonials’ first road win in an astounding 352 days, almost a full year. I know that college basketball is only played for five months out of the year, but for the purposes of entertainment, 352 days sounds better. In celebration of the end of this losing streak, and in looking forward to a hopefully exciting finish to the 2007-08 season, I now present to you a recap of what happened in the time between GW road wins.
The Colonials picked up seven home victories during this span as well as three conference tournament wins to capture the 2007 A-10 crown. They also appeared in one NCAA tournament game, a loss to Vanderbilt in last year’s first round. The Colonials’ leading scorer and rebounder during this stretch has been Rob Diggs, with 331 points and 175 boards. That’s almost a point a day for the duration of the streak.
Among Diggs’ other accomplishments, he was a feature on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays. He was number one a couple weeks ago for a dunk that came off a backboard lob from senior Maureece Rice. Sophomore Johnny Lee also graced the top 10 last year, coming in at No. 6 last March for an incredible layup during the conference tourney.
GW alums scored 31 points in the NBA during this stretch, 29 by Pops Mensah-Bonsu and 2 by Mike Hall.
While the men’s team lost 12 true road games during the streak, the women’s squad lost just three, the last of which came just hours before the men ended the streak. The women did not win last year’s conference tournament, as the men did, but they did win two games in the NCAA tournament, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Junior Jessica Adair led both teams with 445 points, an average of 15.3 per game and 1.3 per day of the streak.
Women’s basketball coach Joe McKeown won 23 games, including the 500th of his career. His team was ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Poll for 19 straight weeks.
Outside of GW athletics, some other big sports moments happened while the men were struggling to win on the road.
In the NFL, the New England Patriots won 18 games, one less than accrued by the Falcons, Rams, Raiders, Jets, and Chiefs combined. The Miami Dolphins won one game.
The NBA team that won the most during this stretch was the San Antonio Spurs, who took 35 games from last March through the NBA finals and had won 35 so far this season, giving them a total of 70 wins during the streak. The Spurs’ road record during this time period: 36-18.
Shaquille O’Neal was traded from the Heat, who won just 25 games during the streak, to the Suns, who won 60. Kobe Bryant was never actually traded, but changed his mind five times and was involved in approximately 3,407 trade scenarios (that’s 9.7 a day if you’re still counting at home).
During the span, the Colonials had played 26 games in 10 states. But all joking aside, GW finally did it, got the monkey off its back, and can start the streak again. Hopefully, this one will last fewer days than the last.