Men’s basketball wins triple overtime thriller at home

Media Credit: File Photo by Raphael Kellner | Staff Photographer

The A-10 conference tournament which starts next week and will be played at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

Men’s basketball finished out their home schedule in dramatic fashion with a triple overtime win over Duquesne on Wednesday night.

The Colonials (12-16, 8-8 A-10) looked like a shell of themselves for stretches, but pulled out a 98-93 win over the Dukes (6-22, 1-15 A-10). GW sophomore guard Joe Bamisile and Duquesne freshman guard Jackie Johnson III both set career-highs with 30 points to lead their respective teams.

“That was a fun basketball game,” head coach Jamion Christian said. “I don’t think we particularly executed great, but you know, it’s good to find a way and that’s the kind of resiliency I think our team has had through the year.”

Bamisile also had seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in a career high 49 minutes while Johnson had four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 38 minutes.

This was the Colonials first overtime game since Dec. 14, 2020, a 85-84 loss to William & Mary. The last time GW went to triple overtime was a 4OT thriller against Davidson Jan. 29, 2020 that resulted in a 107-104 Colonials victory.

The night started out with the honoring of the five members of the team set to graduate this spring: senior guard Amir Harris, senior forward Ricky Lindo, graduate student guard Bryan Knapp, junior forward Miles Gally and senior guard Theofanis Stamoulis.

Those players all started the game, with Harris and Gally both scoring baskets before they went to the bench. Gally, a walk-on, hit a three pointer to put GW up 5-0 and the GW bench erupted.

“I think beyond basketball, people don’t understand how close we are as a team,” Bamisile said. “Like I understand that we’re all here to win games and stuff. But I think when you can just enjoy being around a person, it makes the experience that much better.”

After the regular starters came into the game, both teams settled in. The Colonials looked stagnant on the offensive end, although they found success when they had players backdoor cutting to the basket and driving into the lane.

Bamisile was quiet for most of the first half, with only four points heading into the final media timeout of the first half, when GW trailed 26-21. But after the timeout Bamisile scored seven points to spearhead a 9-2 run heading into the intermission, where GW led 30-28.

Throughout the first half the Colonials tried to pull away with slim leads but the Dukes didn’t let them. Duquesne had seven steals at halftime on eight GW turnovers.

The ball security issues continued for GW in the second half and all three overtime periods as they finished with 19 turnovers on 15 Dukes steals, amounting to the highest number of turnovers all year and the highest number of steals by an opponent all year.

“This was really just a test for us and a test for our young basketball team,” Christian said. “Can you go out and play an opponent better the second time you play them? It was really that simple. You know, we certainly didn’t do that. We still found a way to win.”

The teams went back and forth throughout the second half, with GW struggling to get scoring from anyone but Bamisile, who accounted for 12 of the team’s 29 second half points.

GW looked to be in control as the game approached the final media timeout, leading 54-48 with 4:18 remaining. But for the second game in a row the Colonials let up 10 plus points in the final four minutes of the second half.

This time the result was an 11-5 run for Duquesne to end regulation. The team needed a pair of Bamisile free throws with 10 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Junior guard James Bishop was quiet during regulation, as he has been for the past few games. In 26 minutes tonight, Bishop only had four points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field to go along with a rebound and a block.

But in overtime the Baltimore native exploded for 19 points, two assists and a rebound in 15 minutes, including a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

After the Colonials controlled much of the first overtime, the Dukes crawled back into it. Duquesne tied it up and Bishop responded with a three pointer to give GW a 71-68 lead with 12 seconds remaining in the first overtime.

But graduate student guard Davis Larson responded seven seconds later with an equalizing three ball to send the game to a second overtime.

In the second overtime it was Duquesne who was in control as they led 79-74 with 2:03 remaining in the period.

Lindo excelled for much of the game, finishing with a 12-point, 14-rebound double-double before fouling out with 2:56 remaining in the second overtime. The Colonials got back into the game thanks to composed free throw shooting and a clutch corner three from freshman guard Brayon Freeman late in the second OT.

With 15 seconds left in the second overtime and GW trailing 81-79, it was graduate student guard Brendan Adams’ turn to showcase his free throw shooting ability. After getting fouled on a layup attempt, Adams sank both free throws and the Dukes missed a three pointer at the buzzer to send the game to a third overtime.

After the Dukes took an 85-83 lead just over a minute into the final overtime period, the Colonials took the lead back after a Bamisile-and-one dunk after which he made the free throw.

“When I hit a tough shot, a piece of me just smiled,” Bamisile said. “But then also I knew we could win the game. So I was just having a lot of fun.”

GW has clinched a single digit seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament for the first time since the 2016-17 season and their 8-5 record at home is their first home winning record since the 2017-18 season.

The Colonials finish out their season with a visit to Fordham on Saturday at 2 p.m. With a win GW can lock up the seven seed in the conference tournament, which starts next week and will be played at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.