Men’s basketball falls to St. Bonaventure

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Sophomore guard Maceo Jack fends off two St. Bonaventure players during Saturday night's game.

Men’s basketball extended its losing streak to three games after succumbing to a second-half comeback by St. Bonaventure Saturday afternoon.

GW (8–21, 4–12 A-10) was sitting on a 33–27 lead at halftime following a standout 20-point performance by sophomore guard Maceo Jack, who was 5-for-6 from the perimeter in the first 20 minutes of play.

But a 16-point second-half showing by St. Bonaventure freshman center Osun Osunniyi – who was held to two points in the first frame – propelled the Bonnies (15–14, 11–5 A-10) to a 37-point second half and a 64–58 victory.

“It was a collective effort on the glass,” Jack said. “We weren’t tough enough. We didn’t get to the 50-50 balls and ultimately that’s what cost us the game.”

The loss marks the fifth game this season the Colonials were leading at halftime but could not close out in the second half.

The game’s momentum shifted when the Bonnies started to exploit the Colonials on the block and feed Osunniyi under the rim. Osunniyi – who averaged about seven points per game heading into the day’s contest – did not miss a shot in the second half.

“They started throwing it to him, Javi’s down there battling best he can,” head coach Maurice Joseph said. “He gave up three left-handed layups and then he got seven offensive rebounds and they had 19 second-chance points and that’s where we lost the game.”

St. Bonaventure outrebounded the Colonials 39–28 on the night, and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to GW’s six.

Jack ended the game with 28 points to lead the floor on 5-for-8 shooting from the perimeter and an 11-for-13 showing from the free-throw line. Sophomore guard Justin Mazzulla collected nine points on a 4-for-9 showing from the field as the team’s second-leading scorer. Sophomore forward Javier Langarica snatched a team-high 11 rebounds for GW.

A quick six-point run put the Colonials on top 6–2 before a three by St. Bonaventure freshman guard Dominick Welch slashed into the Colonials’ lead and put the Bonnies within one point with 16:58 left in the frame.

After Welch’s three, both teams went cold. The Colonials missed their next three shots while the Bonnies missed their following four.

But Jack came alive for the Colonials, sinking back-to-back threes to extend GW’s lead to 12–5 after six minutes.

“Maceo was spectacular in that first half but we just didn’t have the size and toughness down there, down the stretch, and the will to go make winning plays,” Joseph said. “And that’s what the game came down to.”

The Bonnies responded with an 8–2 run of their own, but the Colonials were boosted by back-to-back threes from Langarica and Jack to take a 20–15 lead. The Colonials outscored the Bonnies 11–8 in the final six minutes of play to take a 33–27 lead at the half.

But after picking up 11 baskets in the first half, the Colonials were held to seven made baskets in the second half, including two three-point shots.

“They switched to a matchup zone, so we just struggled to score against it,” Jack said. “We weren’t as aggressive.”

Mazzulla got on the board for the first time in the second half and picked up six of the Colonials’ first seven points of the frame. A layup after two and a half minutes pushed GW’s lead to 10 points – its largest of the night.

But the Bonnies answered back with their strongest scoring run of the night thus far, embarking on an 8–0 run to slash GW’s lead. The spurt was punctuated by back-to-back dunks from senior forward LaDarien Griffin to put St. Bonaventure within two points with 15:18 left to play.

The Colonials picked up five consecutive points from the free-throw line to give themselves breathing room 45–38 but the Bonnies torched GW on another 10–0 run to capture their first lead of the night, 48–45, with 9:48 to go in the game.

A Jack layup inched GW ahead by one point in the final six minutes of play, but the Bonnies exploded with a 10–2 run to snatch the final lead of the game. At the end of the run, St. Bonaventure led 62–55 with just 36 seconds left in the match.

The Colonials return to action 7 p.m. Wednesday to take on Fordham on the road.

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