Men’s basketball lost their third consecutive road game 81-69 against Saint Joseph’s Saturday, dropping to eighth place in the Atlantic 10.
The Colonials (12-13, 6-6 A-10) fell behind 16-1 within the first four minutes of the game, while the Hawks (13-12, 7-6 A-10) took advantage from the field, shooting an impressive 43.1 percent. Saint Joseph built an early lead and never lost their momentum as they continued their dominant A-10 run, only ever allowing the Colonials within eight.
GW lagged behind throughout the game, only shooting 38.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc compared to the Hawks’ 43.1 and 34.8 percent, respectively. The Colonials were called for a season-high number of fouls – 27 fouls on the day and 14 in the first half alone – with six of their eight available scholarship players racking up at least two fouls before halftime.
The Colonials have six games left to end their regular season slate, and they sit just a game behind seventh-place St. Bonaventure and sixth-place Saint Joseph’s in the A-10 standings.
Graduate student guard Brendan Adams led the Colonial offense with 15 points and four assists. Senior forward Ricky Lindo Jr. and senior guard James Bishop followed with 13 points each.
The Colonials shot 35.7 percent from the field in the first half while going 4-12 from behind the 3-point line and hitting 66.7 percent of their free throws.
A 3-pointer by Hawks sophomore guard Erik Reynolds II got the scoring started for Saint Joseph’s, who sent the Colonials scrambling on defense through the first five minutes of the half.
The Colonials wouldn’t muster more than a point until the fifth minute when a foul by Reynolds gave a second scoring opportunity to the Colonials, which they capitalized on courtesy of two free throws by Bishop.
A quick 30-second timeout gave the Colonials breathing room, with Bishop hitting a jumper six minutes into the first half, followed by a steal from redshirt freshman guard Max Edwards that turned into a fast-break floater in the paint for Bishop to bring the score to 20-7 with 13 minutes left in the first half.
But a dunk by junior center Noel Brown led to a two-minute-long scoring drought for both teams. A free throw by Hawks freshman guard Christian Winborne broke the scoreless slump with nine minutes left, which Lindo countered with a layup on the other end.
The Colonials spent another three minutes without any points until senior forward Hunter Dean got fouled while banking in a tough layup, making the extra free throw shot. A 3-pointer by Bishop made it 21-34, but the Hawks answered with another 3-pointer of their own to push them back ahead by 16.
With just over a minute left into the first half, graduate student guard Amir Harris subbed in for Lindo, creating momentum for GW.
With just two minutes left in the half, Edwards netted a fast-break jumper in the paint, which was followed by a jumper by Bishop and a dunk by Edwards to close out the first half 27-47.
The Colonials could not hamper the Hawks’ shooting, as they shot 51.6 percent from the field and approximately 41.7 percent from the 3-point line, with Reynolds totaling 11 points in the first half.
GW improved their offense in the second half by increasing their shots from inside the arc, beginning to chip away at the 20-point differential. The Colonials’ offense gathered momentum a few minutes into the half, narrowing the Hawks’ lead to 10 points in the sixth minute of the second half.
The Colonials started the second half with a pair of early substitutions, with senior forward Samuels Qwanzi coming in for Brown and Lindo for Dean, as Caputo looked to revive the team’s offense with a roster change. A fast-break jumper by Bishop put the Colonials on the board in just the first minute of the game.
Adams started to catch fire as the half began, scoring 8 points in four minutes, including back-to-back 3-pointers to make the score 53-37.
A 3-pointer by Lindo about five minutes into the second half, his first of the night, drew the Colonials to within 13 points while the defense shook the Hawks into a two-minute scoring drought by taking advantage of five rebounds. Lindo connected on a layup and a free throw in the span of less than a minute, which he would follow with a layup a minute later to bring the score to 53-42.
A jumper from Reynolds kicked the Hawks back into action, and GW responded with a Dean layup that pushed the score to 57-47. Reynolds then netted a 3-pointer that solidified the Hawks’ lead.
Just when the game seemed over, senior forward Qwanzi Samuels slammed home a fast-break dunk off an Adams assist that he followed a minute later with a layup.
The Colonials were ultimately unable to complete the comeback, as the Hawks were able to extend their lead back out to 13 points.
A 3-pointer by Edwards closed out the game at 81-69 after a lackadaisical defensive effort by GW on the other end left the 3-point line open for the Hawks. The Colonials’ offense improved in the second half, as they shot 40.6 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from behind the 3-point line and 70.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The Colonials hope to get back in the win column against George Mason at the Smith Center on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
This article appeared in the February 13, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.