This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Daniel Wright.
With five minutes and 24 seconds left to play in Colonials 86-73 win over Detroit, senior guard Tony Taylor dribbled across the left side of the baseline with the ball, posting a reverse lay-up that found the bottom of the net for the score.
It wasn’t a particularly showy bucket. Taylor’s had more impressive baskets, and he’s scored at more crucial times in a game. But this basket was unlike any other in Taylor’s career.
The score gave Taylor his 1000th career point as a Colonial, and he ran back down the court as just the 43rd player in 98 seasons of basketball at GW to reach that milestone.
“It’s important that I got it on a win,” Taylor said. “It means a lot to me that I can score the basketball and I’m just happy I did it on a win.”
Taylor came into the game off of back-to-back twenty point scoring performances and needed twenty more to reach the 1000 point mark for his career. After scoring eight points in the first half, Taylor heated up and was a perfect five-for-five from the field in the second half, adding 14 points.
At the end of the game, Taylor had recorded 22 points, bringing his career total to 1,002. He’s the first Colonial to gain membership into the elusive club since Damian Hollis joined its ranks during the 2009-10 season.
“My mindset was really to just play my game and let everything unfold itself,” Taylor said. “[Junior guard Lasan Kromah] did a great job of opening up for me because he was attacking. The guys on the team made it a lot easier for me to get shots.”
Taylor, an All-Atlantic 10 Preseason First Team selection, has carried his outstanding play from last season into the new year. He’s averaging 20.7 points per game, four assists and 1.3 steals, adding .575 field goal percentage, a .692 shooting percentage from beyond the arc and a .777 shooting percentage from the line.
But despite his dominant play, and despite being so close to the milestone, Taylor said he had no idea how close he was during Monday’s game. In fact, Taylor said, sophomore forward Nemanja Mikic had to give him a heads-up.
“I didn’t know at all, I was just playing,” Taylor said. “I didn’t know how many points I had [until Mikic] came to me and said I’m two away. I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but then it triggered.”
While first year head coach Mike Lonergan has only seen 62 of Taylor’s points, but he recognizes the magnitude of the accomplishment. That aside, Lonergan has bigger expectations for his guard.
He knows Taylor can top this milestone, too.
“I’m happy for him, but I’m a lot happier that he won the game,” Lonergan said. “I rather see him lead our team into the postseason than to get 1000 points. It’s a great accomplishment, he’s had a terrific career, but I think he and I have more important goals for him for the season.”
This post has been updated to reflect the following: based on misinformation from a source, The Hatchet reported that Rob Diggs was the last player to hit 1,000 career points. Damian Hollis was the last to hit the milestone.