Men’s basketball drops third straight game

Media Credit: Rachel Schwartz | Photographer

The Colonials and Terriers were tied with 2:30 left in the game, but two BU free throws sank GW’s chances to pull out a win.

Men’s basketball dropped a close game at home Wednesday night for their third consecutive loss.

The Colonials (2-7) were defeated by Boston University (6-3) 56–54 despite two last second chances to take the lead or send the game into overtime. GW struggled from 3-point range for much of the game, converting just 4-of-19 from beyond the arc.

“​​I’m really happy with how our team competed against a really good Boston University team,” head coach Jamion Christian said. “I felt like this is one of the best games we played all year in terms of showing up for 40 minutes. It wasn’t perfect, but I felt like our guys really showed up and they really played hard.”

Junior guard James Bishop amassed a season-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting, sinking three 3-pointers and led the Colonials in scoring for the fifth straight game. But the rest of the team struggled to score, as no one else reached double digits.

The Colonials had just eight points off the bench, all of them coming in the second half from freshman guard Brayon Freeman, who shot 3-of-9 and grabbed three boards as well.

Meanwhile, the Terriers were led by graduate student forward Sukhmail Mathon and Patriot League preseason player of the year and graduate student guard Javante McCoy, both of whom finished with 17 points.

Mathon dominated in the paint as both junior forward Hunter Dean and sophomore center Noel Brown accumulated three fouls within the opening three minutes of the half. Freshman forward Tyler Warner earned the first meaningful minutes of his collegiate career as a result of the foul trouble.

“To watch him step in there and have success really uplifted our team,” Christian said. “He’s always been a team-first guy. He’s always been a tough guy for us. So we weren’t concerned about putting him in. It was a great matchup for him. I’m just thrilled he was able to step in there.”

Boston University was up 11-3 with 14:17 left in the first half before GW went on an 11-0 run to go up 14-11 with just under 12 minutes remaining. Sophomore guard Joe Bamisile netted 5 points during the run, but those would be his last points of the game.

The teams went back and forth for the rest of the first half, with GW leading 34–26 at the break thanks to Bishop’s 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The in-form guard made five of his last six shots before missing a buzzer-beating three pointer to end the half.

In the second half, the Colonials struggled out of the gate, allowing the Terriers to go on a 14-4 run in the first 6:05, which eventually turned into a 20-6 run over the opening 10:17.

“It’s been a theme for two years, so we’ve tried a lot of different things,” said Christian. “I’ve spoken to sports psychologists, I’m talking to different people. We’ve had music at halftime, we’ve tried talking to them, we’ve tried yelling at them, we’ve tried whispering to them. We’ve tried a lot of things. I think we’re still trying to find the answer there. But I’m definitely not pleased with the way we’re starting out halves.”

Bishop continued to be a primary contributor on the scoresheet, accounting for 10 of 20 second half points for the Colonials, showing off his ability to hit multiple contested mid-range jumpers. After averaging 8.7 points per game in the first three games of the season, the Baltimore native has averaged 19 points per game in the last six.

The Colonials last points of the game came with 3:50 remaining coming out of the final media timeout. Graduate student guard Brendan Adams inbounded the ball to Bishop who sank a deep 2-point jumper with a defender in his face.

With 2:30 remaining and the score tied at 54, the Colonials passed the ball around the perimeter until it ended up in Adams’ hands as the shot clock wound down. Adams, who finished 0-of-5 from distance on the night, put up a contested 3-pointer that failed to find the net.

After suffering a foul by Brown following a steal, McCoy stepped up to the line and buried both of his free throws to give the Terriers a 2-point lead with 1:31 left.

After Adams poked the ball out of McCoy’s hands on the ensuing possession, GW got the ball over halfcourt and Christian took a timeout with 16.7 seconds remaining. Coming out of the timeout, Freeman drove into the lane and kicked it out to Bamisile, who took a contested 3-pointer that would have given the Colonials the lead.

Unfortunately for GW, it didn’t fall, but Freeman got the offensive rebound with the help of a tip from senior forward Ricky Lindo Jr. Freeman then put up a tough shot and the rebound resulted in a jump ball.

With just over one second remaining, Adams inbounded the ball and threw it up to Lindo Jr., whose shot hit off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded to seal the Colonials third ever defeat to the Terriers through 23 meetings.

“A lot of good looks there and opportunities to win,” Christian said. “Just didn’t fall our way today, but I’m pleased with us putting ourselves in a position for those opportunities. And I feel like pretty soon we’re gonna be kicking the door in pretty good.”

Next up for the Colonials is a visit from Coppin State Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.

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