9:59 p.m. Sorry for the lack of update, but GW lost 66-58. Check out The Hatchet print edition and/or www.gwhatchet.com tomorrow for the full story and a sidebar from Andrew Alberg.
8:51 p.m. The game is winding down now as we are just inside the final minute of play and GW trails 65-58. Hollis just slammed down a Diggs miss off the backboard, providing a highlight even if it may prove to be too little too late.
8:42 p.m. Diggs was just on the receiving end of an unreal alley-oop from Johnny Lee, who tossed it up from about 10 feet beyond the three-point line as the shot clock wound down. Diggs found the ball on the other end, going up and over an unsuspecting Hawks defender to score. Saint Joseph’s still leads, however, 59-50 with 3:13 to play.
8:35 p.m. The energy has died down a bit as Saint Joseph’s treads water with a 55-44 lead and 6:31 remaining in the game. The Hawks’ Garrett Williamson swatted a Travis King finger roll attempt off the glass from behind on a fast break a few minutes ago, but was called for the foul (much to the crowd’s displeasure).
8:28 p.m. A little under 10 minutes to go and the Hawks now lead 53-40. GW’s offense picked up a bit over the last few minutes, but they are still letting Saint Joseph’s score without much trouble. Facing a double-digit deficit on the road against one of the A-10’s top teams is no easy task, but the Colonials certainly do not appear to have given up.
8:22 p.m. Another airball as the Colonials try desperately to avoid a shot clock violation. This time it’s Taylor. Hawks lead 45-34 with just over 13 minutes to play.
8:19 p.m. Lee gets beaten back in a press again and the Hawks score again in transition. It’s happened to him a few times now and after this occasion Hobbs threw a towel toward the bench in disgust.
8:16 p.m. With 15:26 remaining, GW’s deficit has now increased to 10 as they’ve been outscored 8-2 this half. The Hawks have been able to push the ball and score on a few fast breaks while the Colonials have looked stagnant on offense and earned a shot clock violation as a Wilmore chuck caught only air. Their lone basket this half came on a Diggs jumper from the top of the key.
8:09 p.m. Not a great start to the second half for GW, giving up two unanswered baskets and drawing Hobbs’s ire for failing to respond to some of his calls from the bench. King was whistled for a charge as well, immediately glancing over at the bench when he landed on the floor.
7:50 p.m. The Colonials go into the half trailing by a manageable margin, 33-29. Hollis had an on-line half-court heave fall just short and brush the net at the buzzer. Diggs is leading all scorers with 10, but he’s grabbed just one rebound so far as he has spent much of his time on offense on the perimeter or in the mid-range area. Katuka and Hollis are tied for the team lead with four boards apiece and three Colonials – Hollis, King, and Wilmore – have tallied two assists.
GW definitely has a chance in this one, having hung with the Hawks for the half even as some breaks didn’t go their way. The fact that they are keeping up on the boards and scoring on second chances has to be a good sign as well. Often they have kept up with better teams by getting hot from three, a well that tends to dry as the game goes on. But they’ve been absolutely cold from beyond the arc – one of eight – and still find themselves right in it. If they catch a hot streak from outside at some point and are able to maintain their strong play in other areas, this should go right down to the wire.
7:46 p.m. Nivins needs to change jerseys after a bloody nose dirtied his and the sight of him shirtless drew some woos and cheers from the Hawks’ student section.
7:38 p.m. Katuka is having himself a game, already tallying six points and four rebounds while tipping a few other loose balls to teammates. The Colonials have cut the Hawks’ lead to one with 3:51 remaining in the half after Diggs scored on an alley-oop in transition from Witherspoon. Diggs has a team-high eight points so far.
7:35 p.m. So much for that last bit about the defense. Just over a minute later, the Hawks are owners of a five-point lead after a wide open three in the corner and a nice score in transition. Hobbs called a timeout and appeared to be frustrated, having a brief exchange with a nearby official.
7:31 p.m. The game’s all tied up at 21 now with 6:26 left in the half. The Colonials have done a good job scoring on second chances thus far, with their most recent put-back coming from Katuka as he fell backwards on a pretty impressive play. Diggs put up a nice stretch earlier, throwing down a dunk (and appearing to let the nearby Saint Joe’s student section know about it), grabbing a steal on the other end and shortly thereafter scoring on a mid-range jumper.
GW is playing well thus far, particularly on defense. Although the Hawks have probably made more than GW would like, they’re contesting almost every shot.
7:21 p.m. The Colonials have knotted it up now after Joseph Katuka tipped in a Diggs miss and then Diggs added a basket himself. GW has managed five more shots than their hosts thus far, although they are getting beaten on the boards by a 10 to five margin.
7:14 p.m. We have our first break in the action here and the Hawks lead 13-9 at the 14:46 mark. The Colonials have done most of their scoring from the outside, with Diggs and Aaron Ware each hitting long jumpers and Noel Wilmore draining a three. It was a back-and-forth contest until a mini run for the Hawks, which prompted Hobbs to call the current timeout.
Fear not, faithful live blog readers, as the Hatchet’s live blog returns tonight for GW’s trip to the historic Palestra for a date with Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks are currently third in the Atlantic 10 with a 5-1 record, their only loss coming this past Sunday at Dayton. Their attack is led by 6-9 senior forward Ahmad Nivins, who averages 19.8 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest. He’s scored in double digits for 32 straight games, the longest such streak in the conference.
Your starting Colonials tonight: Rob Diggs, Wynton Witherspoon, Damian Hollis, Tony Taylor, and Travis King.