Men’s Basketball Writer
RICHMOND, Va. – For the majority of their game in Virginia’s state capital on Wednesday night, the Colonials controlled the pace and tempo and controlled their own fate in a must-win game. However, it all unraveled late as the Colonials a nine-point second half lead and lost to the rival Richmond Spiders 73-64 at the Robins Center.
Freshman center Kevin Larsen led the way for GW with 16 points on 6-8 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Fellow freshman guard Kethan Savage had one of the best games of his young collegiate career, scoring 12 points on 4-5 shooting. Isaiah Armwood finished with eight points and nine rebounds, coming short of another double-double, while Patricio Garino had eight points and eight rebounds of his own.
The Colonials got out to a flying start, using a palpable sense of urgency to jump out to a 21-7 lead 8:45 into the first half. However, in hindsight, the next 11 minutes of the first half can be looked at as a crucial missed opportunity for GW to put away the Spiders early, as they allowed Richmond to hang within striking distance, ultimately allowing the Spiders to tie the game at 36 heading into halftime.
The second half began much the same way the first did, as GW used a 12-3 run to build a nine-point lead with 16:10 to play. However, once again the Colonials missed a golden opportunity to put the Spiders away, instead allowing Richmond to chip away at the lead on their home floor. Richmond would tie the game at 55 with 7:13 to play and take the lead for good 23 seconds later with a big Alonzo Nelson-Ododa three-pointer. Crucial moments down the stretch for GW to tie the game would be met with missed opportunities and Richmond would get timely baskets to put the game out of reach.
Cedrick Lindsay led the way scoring-wise for the Spiders with 19 points while Greg Robbins added 15 points and Darien Brothers scored 12 for a Richmond team looking to improve their conference standing and get clear of the logjam of 6-7 teams occupying spots nine through twelve.
Unfortunately for GW, the loss puts them square in the middle of that logjam, with the standings listing them in 12th, but holding the same conference record as Charlotte, St. Joseph’s, and St. Bonaventure. Furthermore, Dayton’s crushing win over Charlotte puts the Flyers just one game back of GW, making the Colonials’ standing even more precarious.
This dynamic combined with the fact that the Colonials had a couple of chances during the course of the game to secure the win makes the loss especially devastating for GW. With three games remaining, it is blatantly obvious that they have to go 2-1 during the final stretch at the worst. However, with two of their final three coming against nationally ranked Saint Louis and an extremely tough La Salle team which has already beaten GW once this season, securing a 2-1 finish seems like a shaky proposition at best. The way the season is shaking out, it seems as though the Colonials are on a collision course to play a de facto Atlantic 10 Tournament play-in game against Dayton on March 9th at the Smith Center.
But for now, GW (12-14, 6-7 Atlantic 10) must focus on their next game, a matchup with #18 Saint Louis (22-5, 11-2 Atlantic 10) on Saturday in Foggy Bottom. Coverage starts at 3:45 with tipoff at 4 p.m. on WRGW- Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.