Colonials fall to 49ers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Valentine’s Day was not exactly sweet for the GW men’s basketball team this year, getting no love from a rowdy homecoming weekend crowd at Charlotte in a 69-51 blowout loss to the 49ers.

The game escaped the Colonials’ (7-15, 1-9 Atlantic 10) grasp quickly, as the 49ers took off on an early 15-3 run that eventually ballooned into a 37-17 halftime advantage. GW managed to make just six field goal attempts and record three assists in the first half while turning the ball over 11 times.

“Physically, they just overwhelmed us,” head coach Karl Hobbs said after the loss. “We had some turnovers and they capitalized on them and that was pretty much what happened throughout the game.”

The particular source of Charlotte’s dominance, Hobbs said, was Charlotte’s pair of big bodies inside, forward Lamont Mack and center Charlie Coley. Mack had eight points in the first four minutes to spark an eventual 23-point performance while Coley scored a dozen, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded a game-high three steals.

“I thought their two inside guys really dominated the game from start to finish and really just sort of overwhelmed us,” Hobbs said. “They never gave us an opportunity to have a chance to really get back into the game.”

While GW’s play did indeed improve after halftime, when they narrowly outscored their hosts by a basket, Charlotte was able to maintain their cushion with relative ease. Despite small bursts of scoring, the game’s 18-point margin was its smallest of the second half.

“They had such a big lead that I thought they played a little conservatively,” Hobbs said of Charlotte’s second-half play. “But every time we made a run they got big rebounds and made big shots when they had to.”

The Colonials will have an extra day of rest before resuming A-10 play at home Thursday against St. Bonaventure. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.

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