9:29 p.m. And that’ll do it: GW wins 63-50. Diggs finished with 17 points and six rebounds and was joined in double digits by Noel Wilmore, who scored 11. Damian Hollis grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and also added nine points. Check www.gwhatchet.com for a full update – with pictures! – later tonight.
9:23 p.m. Hollis hits both of his while American’s Garrison Carr returns the favor. GW leads 56-49 with 1:18 left on the clock.
9:21 p.m. Hollis whistled for a foul after turning around and catching an Eagle defender with his elbow while holding the ball. Officials spoke with Hollis, who was just called for a technical foul on the play, and Hobbs. He was also fouled by the defender, however, so both teams will shoot free throws.
9:17 p.m. Hollis with the long jumper from behind the old three-point line gives GW a 54-45 lead with about two minutes left.
Neat play a few minutes ago as Gilmore put up a lame shot attempt over Hollis while driving to the hoop, heading out of bounds as he released it, only to have Diggs jump and swat the ball off of him. It rolled off his shoulders and GW gained possession.
9:10 p.m. The Colonials are looking to Diggs inside a lot lately and he just hit two free throws to put GW ahead 50-42 with just under five minutes left in regulation. He’s got 15 points now.
9:04 p.m. Gilmore and Hollis get tangled up on their way down the floor, with Gilmore being immediately admonished by an official and earning an intentional foul call. Diggs heads to the line for the Colonials, hitting both to give them a 48-41 lead with 7:17 to go.
8:54 p.m. Momentum appears to be on GW’s side as Aaron Ware grabs a loose ball near midcourt and breaks away for a big dunk to keep the Colonials’ lead at seven. The fans got into it after the play, as did Ware, who let out a scream afterward.
8:51 p.m. Diggs hits a pair of free throws to enter double-digits in scoring and give GW a 42-35 lead with less than 12 to play. On the other end, he gets a steal.
8:45 p.m. American’s Brian Gilmore hits consecutive threes and the Eagles have cut GW’s lead to 38-35, prompting Hobbs to call timeout. Gilmore now has 20 points on the night – 15 from outside – to go with seven rebounds. He was wide open on the last three.
Student turnout actually ended up being pretty good for the game. The lower section of bleachers filled in completely and there are people scattered up top.
8:38 p.m. Katuka with a crowd-pleasing block from behind on an American player in transition. He was promptly subbed out for Opoku but received some hearty applause as he made his way to the bench.
8:35 p.m. Taylor is back in the game with GW leading 36-25 and just over 17 minutes to go.
8:31 p.m. Four of the game’s five GW starters begin the second half, with freshman Tony Taylor being the only one missing. Sports Editor Andrew Alberg reports that he saw Taylor with the trainer at halftime.
8:29 p.m. The band just played the fastest version of the fight song I’ve ever heard. They were playing to coincide with the conclusion of the break and I think they got a late start by a few seconds. The timing ended up working well.
8:19 p.m. It’s halftime at Smith Center and GW leads 31-23, with Wilmore’s nine points and Diggs’s eight leading the way. Travis King has looked particularly sharp thus far, driving on offense and disrupting the passing lanes on defense. Perhaps because of that, Tony Taylor has played just six of the first twenty minutes. Johnny Lee has logged half a dozen as well off the bench.
While he has just one rebound, Diggs’s scoring presence has been an encouraging development in the first half. He’s looked more like himself than he has for most of this year. Wilmore’s been shooting well, hitting three of four attempts from deep, and the Colonials are six of 12 from beyond the arc as a whole.
They’ve gotten by largely on their outside shooting in the first half, something that tends to be one of the most fickle sources of offense for a team. It will be interesting to see if they can carry that over into the second half and, if they cannot, how they plan to adjust. When the shooting well went dry at Auburn, the rest of GW’s offense did as well.
And for the second consecutive game, the half-court shooter at halftime made his shot on the first attempt. He earns free round-trip airfare from Jet Blue.
8:03 p.m. Colonials lead 27-19 at the 5:39 mark after a long two from Diggs, who appeared to have his foot on the three-point line. Wilmore hit another three as well. GW is having a good night from outside thus far.
7:58 p.m. King adds a three on the next possession and GW leads 22-16 with 7:48 to go in the half. He’s now tied with Wilmore for the team lead in points with six while pacing the Colonials with three rebounds.
7:56 p.m. King drives, scores, gets fouled and hits the foul shot on what has to be his most impressive play since returning from last year’s knee injury. He crossed up his defender with a nifty stutter-step and laid it in over the fouling defender. GW leads 19-16.
7:50 p.m. Diggs with a turnaround from the elbow to give GW a 14-12 lead with 11:50 left before the break. Diggs has not gotten off to the best start this season, but that was the type of play he was making with frequency during A-10 play last year. Hobbs said after the Harvard game that they hope to get Diggs in more of a groove soon it would seem like those type of plays would be what he was referring to.
The basket was GW’s first from inside the arc.
7:44 p.m. Official timeout after only one possession transpired, on which Wilmore hit another three. 10-9 Eagles.
7:42 p.m. Timeout GW as American scores twice to take a 10-6 lead with 15:07 remaining in the half. The Colonials’ points have come on a pair of treys, first from Taylor and next from Noel Wilmore. Wilmore’s was from NBA range.
7:38 p.m. Ugly start as the teams exchange missed chances near the basket, with American’s blown opportunity being on a breakaway off a turnover by Katuka. The Eagles’ Brian Gilmore was fouled going for the put-back and proceeded to miss both free throws. No score at the 18:23 mark.
7:34 p.m. GW’s starting five: Rob Diggs, Damian Hollis, Joseph Katuka, Xavier Alexander and Tony Taylor. The video scoreboard and the video strips behind the baselines are both off for the second straight night. Word is the computer that controls them has been having trouble.
Greetings all and welcome to tonight’s Hatchet livebloggery for GW’s intra-D.C. clash with American. The Colonials are engaging in an energetic layup line at this time, with the Eagles doing their thing with some mid-range jumpers on the other end.
Tonight’s game represents the first meeting between the two teams since 2003, when the Eagles emerged from the Smith Center victorious after an 81-75 game. American leads the all-time series 21-19 and are coming off an NCAA tournament appearance last season.
With just under 15 minutes until tip, there are a few more fans here than turned out last night for the women, but still lesst han your typical men’s game. This would seemingly be an especially attractive ticket since it features two local teams, but many students have already gone home for the holiday break and those remaining have finals on which to focus.
The Colonial Brass members are rocking some snazzy blue Santa hats tonight. They appear to be sparkly.