Men’s basketball live blog: GW 78, Fordham 53, final

2:57 p.m. That’s all she wrote. GW wins 78-53, with the team’s three walk-ons – graduate student Jeff Alston, senior J.P. Cotton, and sophomore Michael Conward – all finishing the game on the floor together. Conward scored GW’s last basket. Check back later for a full post-game report.

2:49 p.m. There’s another media timeout with GW still leading by 22 and 3:29 left in the game. I’m going to take photos again, but I’ll be back to update it.

2:47 p.m. Johnson scores on a layup and Fordham responds. GW leads by 22 inside the four-minute mark.

2:46 p.m. GW still leads by 22, though now the score is 69-47, and there is 4:18 remaining in the game. Smith threw down the dunk of the game on a fast break in that span and Hollis hit another three. GW seems like it will cruise.

2:33 p.m. Opoku throws down a dunk and earns a technical foul for hanging on the rim. One ref is practically smiling as he explains the call to Opoku. Butler goes to the line and makes both free throws for Fordham. The Rams call a timeout trailing by 22 with 8:24 left. I’m going to take some more photos again, but I’ll be back during the next break in the action to update you on the goings on, or sooner if something major happens.

2:31 p.m. Butler is a bit shaken up after being fouled while shooting, but he recovers and makes both shots. GW leads 60-38 with 8:51 to play.

2:29 p.m. Taylor drives and a defender gets a hand on his shot as he goes up, but Taylor banks it off the glass for two nonetheless.

2:28 p.m. Hollis hits another three from the corner, his fifth of the game, and he now has 21 points. GW leads by 22 with 10:09 to go.

2:27 p.m. Edwards enters the game and picks up a foul on defense, sending Butler to the line for the Rams. He makes one of two shots and it’s 55-36 GW.

2:25 p.m. Hollis hits a three from the corner and Katuka draws a defensive foul from Jacob Green away from the ball during the shot, so Katuka will go to the line for a one-and-one. He makes one of two shots and GW leads by 20 with 11 minutes remaining.

2:23 p.m. We’re in another media timeout at the 11:34 mark and not much has changed. GW now leads 51-35, its points coming on four free throws – two from Smith, two from Taylor.

2:12 p.m. Bynes gets blocked pretty emphatically in the lane while driving for a layup, then there’s a foul on the other end and the game goes into a media timeout with GW leading 47-32 and 15:14 left. I’m going to take some pictures for a little bit.

2:11 p.m. Things get kind of sloppy on both ends with missed layups in traffic, GW’s coming when Hollis can’t finish on a 3-on-2 fast break. Gaston hits a jumper and GW’s lead is 15 with 15:45 to play.

2:10 p.m. Gaston just tried a turnaround jumper, but Edwards got his whole hand on the ball and stuffed the shot.

2:08 p.m. Kromah gets a defensive rebound and finds Hollis near midcourt, then Hollis gets fouled on the floor before he can get a shot up. GW keeps the ball, but the possession ends when Kromah misses a three from the corner.

2:07 p.m. Kromah blocks a shot and starts a possession that ends with Hollis hitting a mid-range jumper to put GW up 47-30. Hollis now has 15 points and leads all scorers.

2:06 p.m. Opoku misses twice under the basket and Fordham scores on the other end, but Hollis coolly pulls up for a quick three on the other end and GW’s lead is at 15 with 18:30 to play.

2:05 p.m. Taylor picks up his first foul 14 seconds into the scond half, sending Gaston to the line for Fordham. The standout freshman hits both shots and GW’s lead is now 14 points.

1:58 p.m. So after a bit of back-and-forth action to start the game, the Colonials really seem to be in control at halftime. Hollis is leading the way with 10 points and Smith has nine, with Smith’s four-point, two-steal outburst in his first few minutes really seeming to spark the team’s run in the middle of the half. GW is shooting very well so far – 16-for-35 from the floor, including 4-for-9 on threes – which helps make up for a five-rebound deficit on the boards. The Colonials have also forced a ton of turnovers (14, to be exact) and committed only three of their own; GW has outscored Fordham 15-2 off turnovers. GW has also already recorded 10 assists on its 16 baskets, with Taylor leading the team with three.

Just as much basketball remains as has been played, but if the Colonials keep up their current level of play they should be able to handle the Rams pretty well and keep the hosts winless in conference play. If they keep their comfortable lead, I may be taking more photo breaks, but I’ll be back with updates throughout the second half either way.

1:47 p.m. Hollis tries to drive around a defender and is fouled and falls to the floor with 1.6 seconds on the clock. Hollis hits both shots and Pellom steals the inbound pass and time expires, sending the Colonials into halftime with a 42-26 lead.

1:47 p.m. Bynes fouls Butler, who goes to the line for two shots and makes them both. GW’s up 14 with less than 20 seconds left in the half.

1:45 p.m. Fordham breaks GW’s press with a lob to Estwick for a quick two, then Kromah scores a transition layup while being fouled after a Fordham turnover. Kromah misses the free throw.

1:44 p.m. Kromah comesup with a quick steal and tries to lob an alley-oop to Pellom, but the timing is off. Pellom dishes it to Opoku, who gets fouled as his lay-in attempt rolls off the rim. Opoku hits both shots and GW leads by 16 with 1:06 left in the half.

1:43 p.m. Hollis comes up with a steal and passes up to freshman David Pellom in transition, who dumps it off to Kromah for a layup attempt. Kromah gets fouled and goes to the line, where he misses the first but hits the second. GW is now 2-for-5 from the foul line.

1:41 p.m. Taylor drives into traffic and draws a good deal of contact while shooting and goes to the line for two. He misses both shots.

1:40 p.m. Kromah blocks a shot and then knocks the recovered ball loose, but it goes out of bounds. Butler airballs a three as the shot clock expires and GW will get it, leading by 13 with a little over two minutes to go in the half.

1:39 p.m. A Tanner free throw ameks it 35-22 GW.

1:36 p.m. We’re at another media timeout and GW still leads 35-21. To recap the run I missed while shooting photos, it went: Smith layup, two straight scores by freshman Tim Johnson, and then a Hollis three. Smith leads GW with nine points while Hollis has eight.

1:35 p.m. Hollis hits a three with Gaston in his face and the Colonials lead 35-21 with 4:20 left in the half.

1:33 p.m. GW just went on a bit of a run over the past three minutes, pulling ahead 32-21 as I was taking photos, the Colonials’ last basket coming on a jumper by Hollis. There are about five minutes left in the first half.

1:27 p.m. Gaston is called for a charging foul, sending the game into a media timeout with GW leading 23-18 with 7:58 left in the first half. I’m going to try to take some photos now. I’ll be back in a few minutes.

1:26 p.m. The Rams come up with two straight offensive rebounds and eventually score. GW does the same on the other end, but the ball goes out of bounds off of Opoku’s hands and Fordham gets it back.

1:25 p.m. Kromah knocks a ball loose on defense and freshman Bryan Bynes comes up with it, going coast to coast but missing the layup. Opoku finishes the play with a put-back and GW leads 23-16 with about nine minutes left in the first.

1:24 p.m. After a Fordham two, Kromah hits GW’s second three of the day and the Colonials lead 21-16.

1:23 p.m. Taylor feeds it to a charging Hollis in the lane, who throws down a loud dunk with his left hand. GW by four.

1:20 p.m. Rayne Moquete scores for Fordham to cut GW’s lead to two and cap a 7-0 Rams run. The teams are really trading scoring bursts so far. King comes up with a steal and is fouled at midcourt to send the game into its second media timeout. The Colonials lead 16-14 with 10:59 remaining in the first half. There’s no music playing during the timeout as the cheerleaders do a pyramid-type thing and it’s kind of awkward.

1:19 p.m. Estwick scores again and GW leads 16-12 with 11:35 left in the half.

1:19 p.m. King dribbles behind his back then kicks it to a wide-open Smith, who knocks down a three to put GW up by nine. Alberto Estwick hits a three for Fordham on the other end to return the lead to six points.

1:17 p.m. Smith comes up with another steal, feeds it to Kromah in transition, and Kromah finds redshirt junior Travis King for a layup to give GW a 13-7 lead on a 9-0 run. Fordham calls a timeout with 13:03 left in the half. Quite a burst from the Colonials there, most of which was sparked by Smith in his first minutes off the bench.

1:17 p.m. Redshirt sophomore Jabari Edwards – a Brooklyn native – gets a block on the defensive end then tips in Kromah’s miss to give GW an 11-7 lead.

1:16 p.m. Smith gets a steal on the other end and pushes it up court, where Kromah is fouled while shooting. Kromah misses both shots.

1:15 p.m. Freshman Dwayne Smith picks up a defensive foul, but then grabs a steal and breaks away for a game-tying layup. After GW stops Fordham on the other end, Smith gets the ball on the perimeter and drives for another layup to give GW a 9-7 lead.

1:13 p.m. Fordham turns it over by stepping out of bounds out bounds on the baseline out of a timeout, then the Colonials turn it over with an errant pass that goes out on the other end. The players and Hobbs both seem to think the pass was tipped by a Ram.

1:10 p.m. Hollis pump-fakes on the perimeter then drives and misses a runner. He battles on the floor to get the rebound, but his pass ends up in Fordham’s hands. Kromah comes up with a steal on the other end, then Katuka is whistled an offensive foul away from the ball as he battles his defender for position. Fordham leads 7-5 at the first media timeout with 15:55 left in the first half.

1:09 p.m. Taylor is fouled while attempting a layup and goes to the line for two free throws. He misses the first but hits the second and GW trails by two three minutes into the game.

1:08 p.m. GW can’t score on the other end, then Butler hits a three for Fordham and the Rams take a 7-4 lead with seven unanswered points.

1:07 p.m. Fordham’s Herb Tanner gets a steal and breaks away for a dunk to tie the game at four.

1:07 p.m. Ware hits a long jumper with his foot on the three-point line to give GW a 4-0 lead two minutes into the game, then Gaston answers for Fordham on the other end.

1:05 p.m. The Colonials win the tip and give it to Kromah for a quick three on their first possession, but he misses. GW gets a defensive stop, then Opoku scores in transition to give his team a 2-0 lead.

1:02 p.m. GW’s starters: sophomore Tony Taylor and freshman Lasan Kromah at guard; and sophomore Aaron Ware, senior Damian Hollis, and senior Hermann Opoku at forward. This is Opoku’s second straight start and third of the season. Junior center Joseph Katuka had started the team’s other 20 games in that lineup spot.

Good afternoon and welcome to the live blog for this afternoon’s men’s basketball game at Fordham, where the Colonials will look to snap a three-game losing streak against the Rams, who are winless in conference play. The Colonials (12-10, 2-7 Atlantic 10) have been off since losing by seven at home to Duquesne last Saturday, their sixth loss in their last seven games and fifth in that span by seven points or less. Sophomore Tony Taylor, who hails from nearby Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., is expected to play today after injuring his ankle last weekend and his family will be in the stands for the game. For the season, GW is led in scoring by senior Damian Hollis (13.8 points per game), freshman Lasan Kromah (11.1) and Taylor (9.4); in rebounding by Hollis (4.8) and reserve senior forward Hermann Opoku (4.3); and in assists by Taylor (3.5).

Fordham (2-20, 0-10 A-10) is a fairly interesting program, having fired former head coach Dereck Whittenburg five games into this season and having seen perhaps their best player, sophomore guard Jio Fontan, transfer out of the school earlier this year. (For more about Fordham has a program, I highly recommend this in-depth piece by former Hatchet editor in chief and current Politico reporter Jake Sherman.) The Rams actually hung with first-place Charlotte in their last home game, losing by just five in their closest game since a two-point loss at UMass Jan. 6. They lost by 11 at St. Bonaventure Wednesday, their most recent game.

Leading Fordham in scoring and rebounding is 6-foot-7 freshman forward Christ Gaston, who averages 18 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. He has posted 14 double-doubles this year and is currently fourth in the A-10 in scoring and second in rebounding, so the Colonials will have their work cut out for them inside. The only other Fordham player averaging double-digit scoring is senior guard Brendan Butler, who averages 16.1 points per game and recently became the 33rd player in the school’s 1,000-point club. He is the only upperclassman that starts for the Rams – the rest of their lineup is three freshmen and a sophomore – and one of just three upperclassmen on the team’s roster.

Also, just a warning: I’m taking photos again, so there will be points when I’m not blogging because I’m on the floor with the camera. I’ll warn you though.

There are still more than 20 minutes before the opening tip, so we’ll be back with starting lineups when they’re available and updates throughout the game. In the meantime, I’m going to be keeping an eye out for these guys.

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