After an offensive resurgence in the first half of Saturday’s matchup against Duquesne, it looked like men’s basketball could avenge last month’s six-point overtime loss to the Dukes.
But the Colonials’ (7–18, 3–9 A-10) offense went cold to end the second half while the Dukes charged forward in the final minutes to take home an 85–69 victory.
While GW finished the night shooting at a 50.0 percent clip, the Colonials tallied just eight points in the last seven minutes of play while Duquesne racked up 17 points in the same span.
Turnovers were a major hindrance to GW’s chance at a win as the Colonials gave the ball up 17 times throughout the game. Duquesne scored 25 of its points off GW’s miscues.
“It’s a shame because we shot the ball well, we scored the ball at a high clip,” head coach Maurice Joseph said. “But we coughed it up 17 times so we get five, six, seven of those back and it’s a different ballgame.”
A trio of double-digit scorers carried the Colonials for most of the matchup. Redshirt junior guard DJ Williams led the charge for GW with 21 points, while sophomore guards Terry Nolan Jr. and Maceo Jack finished with 16 and 20 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Javier Langarica grabbed 13 of the Colonials’ 31 rebounds on the day.
An athletic department spokesman declined to facilitate interviews with student-athletes after the game, citing a department policy.
The Colonials struggled to defend Duquesne sophomore guard Frankie Hughes from beyond the arc. Hughes finished 7-for-15 on the day from three-point range with all of his 21 points coming from the perimeter. Sophomore guard Eric Williams Jr. also added 22 points and eight rebounds for the Dukes.
The Colonials got off to a slow start, struggling to get off shots while Duquesne ran up the score on back-to-back three pointers to take a 10–2 lead after less than three minutes of play. The squad turned the ball over three times during the span, stifling its momentum on the offensive end.
GW regrouped after Joseph called an early time out with the Dukes ahead 13–2, and the Colonials went on an 11-2 run to bring the game within two points. All points during GW’s scoring uptick belonged to Nolan and Jack, who each downed a three and went a combined 5-for-5 on free throws.
After Duquesne broke into the Colonials’ run with a three-pointer to take an 18-13 lead, Nolan responded with five straight points to even the score. Although the Dukes secured a layup on the next possession, Jack sank a three at the other end to give the Colonials their first lead of the game 21–20 with 11 minutes to play in the first frame.
“We gotta continue to get good shots and pass up good ones for great ones, and we did a pretty good job of that,” Joseph said. “That’s why we knocked down shots.”
The two teams continued to trade points for the rest of the half, but Duquesne pulled ahead in the final minutes of the first frame riding a stellar performance beyond the arc from Hughes. While four Colonials sprinkled in their own baskets at the other end, Hughes carried the Dukes with five consecutive three-pointers to propel them to a 47–41 lead going into halftime.
GW headed to the locker room shooting 14-for-45 from the floor – good for a 56.0 clip – while the Dukes finished the half at a 14-for-35 rate. Twenty-seven of the Dukes’ 47 points in the first half came off three-point shots.
The Colonials knocked down back-to-back shots to open the second half to pull ahead 47-46, but Duquesne tallied a 7-2 scoring drive to take back the lead. The two squads traded baskets for a stretch, but the Dukes continued to stay out in front of GW.
The Colonials started to lose control of the contest with 6:34 left to play and down 72–64, when Nolan was called for an offensive foul on Hughes. After Hughes said something inaudible to Nolan, Nolan shoved Hughes resulting in a lengthy break for officials to review the play and both players receiving technical fouls.
From that point, the Dukes went on a 12–3 run to end the game. GW’s only points in the span came from a layup from Langarica, who finished with six points and 13 rebounds, and a free throw from Jack.
With less than one minute left to play, it appeared Nolan injured his ankle and needed to be helped off the court by his teammates. An athletic department spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment about Nolan’s status after the game.
The Colonials will return home Wednesday to take on Massachusetts at the Smith Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.