Men’s basketball falls to Davidson on the road

Media Credit: File Photo by Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Sophomore guard Justin Mazzulla takes on a Duquesne defender during a men's basketball game Sunday.

Men’s basketball could not get over the scoring hump against Davidson Wednesday night.

The Colonials (6-13, 2-4 A-10) trailed the Wildcats (14-5, 5-1 A-10) from the jump, but came within two points of the lead three times during the matchup, keeping the Wildcats on their toes.

But a 10-0 run by Davidson in the middle of the second half accompanied with on-ball mistakes by the Colonials allowed the Wildcats to balloon their lead to as many as 14 points en route to a 73–62 victory over GW.

“We went through a stretch there where we turned the ball over, we missed shots and then they got out in transition,” head coach Maurice Joseph said. “Bad shots and turnovers against a team like this is going to turn into baskets and opportunities for them and that’s what happened. They capitalized.”

Davidson picked up 17 points off 15 turnovers by the Colonials. The Wildcats were led by redshirt junior guard KiShawn Pritchett – who shot an efficient 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, totaling 17 points in total.

“We weren’t very physical with him, that was the deal,” Joseph said. “We talked about his strengths and his weaknesses at nauseum and we let him get to this strengths and that’s on us.”

Davidson’s offensive momentum was fueled by hot three-point shooting. The Wildcats went 11-for-26 from beyond the arc, and two of Pritchett’s teammates joined him with three three-point makes to their names.

Sophomore guard Justin Mazzulla and redshirt junior guard DJ Williams each scored 15 points for GW. Sophomore guard Terry Nolan Jr. grabbed 10 rebounds for GW but saw limited minutes in the second half after heading to the bench with three fouls and 12 minutes left in the game.

An athletic department spokesman declined to provide interviews with athletes postgame, citing a department policy.

Defensively, the Colonials held their own under the rim, limiting Davidson to zero offensive rebounds on the night. GW also won the battle overall under the glass 37–29.

To open the contest, the Wildcats were unafraid to shoot from distance, picking up nine of their first 11 points from the three-point line. By that point, the Colonials trailed by seven after hitting just 1-of-6 attempts from the floor. But a four-point swing courtesy of Mazzulla and sophomore forward Javier Langarica brought cut the Davidson lead to three points with 14:17 left in the half.

Back-to-back threes from sophomore guard Kellan Grady and redshirt freshman guard Luke Frampton grew Davidson’s lead back to nine points, but GW was kept alive by exceptional free throw shooting.

Throughout the first half, the Colonials put the ball on the floor and drove to the rim aggressively, forcing the Wildcats to foul early and landing them in the bonus three minutes before halftime. GW went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the first half and 14-for-18 on the game.

A 10-4 run by GW, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Maceo Jack with 8:50 left in the first frame, cut into its deficit, bringing the score to 22–20 with 9:33 to play.

Both sides went on to trade baskets, with GW holding Davidson’s lead to no more than six points. A jumper by Williams and two made free throws from Jack cut the Wildcats’ advantage to one point with three minutes to go.

The Colonials had the chance to grab the lead, but three missed shots and two turnovers in their last five possessions of the half allowed the Wildcats to enter the locker room on a 6-0 run and with a 36–29 lead.

After picking up just three baskets from behind the arc in the first half, the Colonials opened the second half going 3-for-4 from distance and cut into Davidson’s lead, trailing 42-40 with 16:35 left in the game.

But Wildcats junior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson sparked a momentum shift after picking up just one point in the first 20 minutes of play. He put up four unanswered points followed by a layup from Pritchett that put their team up by eight.

As the clock ticked under 10 minutes remaining, the Colonials stayed striking distance away. A three-pointer from junior guard Justin Williams inched GW closer, making the scoreboard read 56–52 with just 8:30 left to play.

But the Colonials went cold as the Wildcats got hot, going 0-for-3 from the field and allowing 10 unanswered points to cement the Davidson victory.

GW missed its final five three-point attempts of the night to solidify the win for Davidson.

The Colonials return to action Saturday at 7 p.m. for a road game against George Mason.

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