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The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Kromah, Colonials cruise in victory

GW was already comfortably ahead of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Saturday, the game’s 94-51 lopsided final score starting to take form in the first half, when freshman Bryan Bynes fired a cross-court pass to classmate Lasan Kromah, who lingered in the corner awaiting the ball, ready to shoot.

Kromah, for his part, was on his way to another strong performance, his third in as many games as a Colonial after having already knocked down a pair of threes and a long jumper to give him eight points.

But when that shot – the one from the corner on the feed from Bynes – fell through the net, pushing GW’s advantage to 19 points just more than 13 minutes into the game, it was merely the first strike in an all-out Kromah onslaught that buried the Retrievers before so much as a full half had been played.

Over the next two minutes, the first-year guard would attempt and make four three-pointers in a span of five GW possessions, the lone trip without a score coming when Kromah lobbed a pass to fellow freshman Tim Johnson, who threw it down and through the hoop to complete an alley-oop.

“The whole time,” Kromah explained after the game, “I was thinking, ‘Just keep up the same intensity, don’t let down.’ “

On the first dead ball after Kromah finally missed a shot, coming up short on a three in transition, head coach Karl Hobbs replaced him with sophomore Aaron Ware, allowing Kromah to leave the floor amid a raucous standing ovation from the Smith Center faithful.

Kromah, who led all scorers with 21 points in the game to go with four assists and four steals, was but one half of an impressive young backcourt tandem. Sophomore Tony Taylor, who played a team-high 24 minutes, made all three shots he took, but most importantly performed efficiently at the helm of the offense, tallying six assists and just one turnover.

“I’ve just gotta give him so much credit for just running the basketball team, making sure that the right people get the ball at the right spots where they’re effective,” Hobbs said of Taylor.

Kromah had similar praise for his backcourt mate.

“Tony’s our point guard, so he’s like our general on the floor,” Kromah said. “As he goes, that’s how the team goes.”

All 15 healthy members of the roster saw the floor Saturday, 13 of them scoring and, for the second straight game, 11 of them playing double-digit minutes. Hobbs made substitutions early and often throughout the game, taking time after the win to praise his players’ ability to consistently perform in the face of such frequent changes.

“It’s really tough for these guys to play that way, but they do maintain the level of focus,” Hobbs said. “They have great attitudes and I think that’s what’s gonna be the difference with our season, is our ability to maintain a positive attitude and keep team first.”

For all that Kromah did with his two-minute, 12-point outburst, it was an overall team effort and balance of contributions that carried GW to its third win of the season. Senior Damian Hollis was second on the team with 12 points, adding seven rebounds, four assists and a team-best three blocks as well. Four Colonials – Bynes, Johnson, junior Joseph Katuka, and redshirt junior Travis King – scored eight points each. Freshman David Pellom grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Hollis, the young team’s most experienced player, said the Colonials (3-0) have developed the type of team mentality Hobbs mentioned.

“This is the first time I felt like actually a big family,” he said of this year’s team. “I love all the guys because they bring energy, personality. Everybody’s athletic, everybody just gets along, the chemistry’s good. I just love being around them.”

The Colonials’ season continues Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they host Princeton.

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