Men’s basketball narrowly defeated St. Bonaventure Sunday afternoon, 83-81, in an overtime thriller that came down to the final possession.
The Colonials (13-14, 7-7 A-10) held a comfortable lead over the Bonnies (13-15, 7-8 A-10) for most of the game, before blowing an eleven point advantage with just two minutes to go in regulation, sending the game to overtime. Efficient guard play from senior James Bishop and graduate student guard Brendan Adams combined with solid interior defense allowed the Colonials to hang on in the extra period.
Both offenses got off to a slow start and through five minutes only 12 total points had been scored with St. Bonaventure holding a 7-6 lead. GW took their own lead midway through the first half when junior center Noel Brown finished strong at the rim off the assist from redshirt freshman guard Max Edwards, making it 12-10.
The Colonials began to pick up the pace offensively around the seven minute mark, when Adams and Bishop hit back-to-back 3s off assists from each other, pushing the lead to two possessions.
Adams, by far the most efficient GW player of the evening, went on to make four from beyond the arc on eight attempts, paired with an overall shooting performance of eight for 12 from the field for a total of 28 points. Adams also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out four assists.
With just two minutes left in the first half, Bishop stole the ball, passed it down court to Edwards, who found Bishop slicing to the rim to complete the coast-to-coast score that gave GW their first double-digit lead of the afternoon at 29-19. Senior forward Hunter Dean closed out the half with a baseline jumper to make it 32-21 heading into the second half.
The Colonials allowed just 21 first-half points, well below their average of 33 this season, and further stifled the Bonnie offense by only ceding one 3-pointer out of their 12 attempts.
Junior forward Ricky Lindo Jr. got the second half underway with an emphatic dunk of a helper from Dean, pushing the Colonial lead to 13. With eight minutes gone in the second half, the Colonials hit their largest lead of the night when two free throws from Adams made it 48-30.
With seven minutes left, St. Bonaventure began to chip away at the lead, converting an and-one layup to cut the Colonial advantage to 10. Redshirt sophomore forward Chad Venning led the Bonnies in scoring with 22 points on nine of 14 shooting from the field.
With 2:34 to play, GW still held a 10 point lead, but the Bonnies were not done battling, as they converted back-to-back inside scores to slice the lead to 6 with 1:54 remaining. With just under 30 seconds to play, junior redshirt guard Daryl Banks III was fouled on a deep 3 by Lindo, down by 4, Banks made all three attempts, putting the game at 71-70.
Adams was fouled on the other end with 11 seconds to go, and missed his first free throw, but made the second, nudging the lead back up to 2. With just 10 seconds to play, the Bonnies scrambled toward the other end and managed to put up and grab their own rebound on two shots, before finally kicking it to sophomore guard Kyrell Luc for a midrange jumper that tied it at 72 with 0.5 seconds to play.
To start overtime, both sides traded field goals to tie it at 76 with 2:45 to play. The Bonnies then hit a wing 3 and Bishop responded with a free throw off an off ball foul, cutting the score to 79–77 with 1:08 to go.
A pair of free throws put the Bonnies up five before Adams nailed a clutch three off the assist from Hunter Dean to bring the lead back to a single point with just 27 seconds remaining. The Colonials controlled the final possession of the game and with just 0:02 left, Bishop was fouled on a 3-point jumper by Luc that sent him to the line. Bishop nailed all three, sealing the game at 82-81.
Now at 7-7 in the congested A-10 standings, the Colonials sit at seventh but just two games back from fourth place. GW will stay on the road for their matchup Wednesday facing Rhode Island at 7 p.m.
This article appeared in the February 23, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.