Vermont downs GW in Honolulu

Sunday, December 28

Judging by the statistics, one might think GW’s men’s basketball game against Vermont in the opener of the Rainbow Classic was close. The Colonials and Catamounts had nearly identical field goal, three-point and free throw percentages, and turned the ball over the same amount of times. Vermont had slight edges in rebounds and assists, but not substantial ones, nothing that would explain a double-digit victory.

But the only statistic that matters in the end, points, was not so close when the buzzer sounded in Honolulu, and GW (6-3) had lost 83-72. The Colonials, who never led, came within four on a jumper by junior forward Damian Hollis with about five minutes remaining, but Vermont pulled away.

Colonials head coach Karl Hobbs attributed the loss to Vermont’s ability to get important offensive rebounds, though the Colonials only had two fewer (13 to 11). He added that Vermont is a “more sold and seasoned” team than his, which “needs to play smarter.”

Senior forward Rob Diggs had his best game of the season, scoring 25 points on eight for 11 shooting, while grabbing 14 rebounds.

“Robert played a terrific game,” Hobbs said in a telephone interview. “He needs to continue to play that way.”

For the second straight game, however, Diggs’s classmate, Wynton Witherspoon, did not play at all. After averaging 11 points in nearly 30 minutes last year, Witherspoon is averaging just less than five points this year. When asked about the Georgia native’s absence, Hobbs was vague.

“He’s not done certain things, you have standards that you have to meet and he hasn’t met them,” Hobbs said before declining to elaborate.

With or without the help of Witherspoon, the Colonials have two more games to play during their stay in Hawaii. They will play the winner of Saturday night’s game between Colorado and host Hawaii on Monday, then play again the following day.

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