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The GW Hatchet

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FRESHFARM workers ratify union agreement
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 15, 2024

Layups trip up Colonials

ANAHEIM, Calif., Dec. 9 -Tim Floyd said he doesn’t know how his University of Southern California Trojans beat the GW men’s basketball team Saturday afternoon in the Wooden Classic.

His confusion is warranted. GW was up 13 points at halftime, a lead that quickly grew to 20 points after two minutes in the second half. GW held the Trojans scoreless for 10 minutes in the first half and quickly, and accurately, weaved through its defense.

Floyd could have asked Karl Hobbs for an explanation. Hobbs said he is crystal clear on how his team allowed the Trojans back into this one. This time it wasn’t rebounding, like it was during GW’s previous loss at Providence College. It wasn’t even turnovers. Something a lot simpler pushed the team to its second loss of the year.

The Colonials couldn’t make layups. It’s as elementary as the right-handed dribble. When GW was under the hoop or flying down the court on a fast break, the players simply couldn’t connect.

The Colonials spent three days in California preparing to play USC when some of the children down the road at Disneyland may have been more productive around the rim.

In the first half, it seemed as though the Colonials had the win lined up. At halftime, they were up 13 points and poised to beat the Trojans in its backyard here in Anaheim. GW held USC to 28 percent shooting and got through USC’s defense for a double-digit lead going into the locker room.

And then it all crumbled. GW missed an obscene amount of “gimmes” off its nine steals and the Trojans emerged with the 74-65 victory.

It really was that simple, Hobbs said after the game.

“I think you have to go back to the layups,” Hobbs said when asked what was key in the loss. “It killed our momentum. It really deflated us.”

Making layups have traditionally been the bread and butter of a GW offense that won 27 games last season by beating teams in a full-court, break-neck offense. But Saturday in the Wooden Classic, this seemed like an entirely different squad.

Senior Regis Koundjia, who finished with nine points and three rebounds, was a culprit. He and sophomore Rob Diggs bobbled a rebound on offense and, after three tries, couldn’t come up with the offensive put-back.

“There was one time when I think we had three guys down there,” Hobbs said.

“Someone missed a layup like twice in a row. Those were big momentum changes in the game.”

Losing a big game due to missed layups is a phenomenon more common in middle school pickup games than at the Division I college level, so it is fair to question what Hobbs had in the playbook to beat USC.

Hobbs said, “We forced them into 20 turnovers, which is what we wanted to do, but I thought we missed like five layups, just guys by themselves.”

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