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

Mid-break men’s basketball live blog: GW 70, Holy Cross 68, final

9:07 p.m. Cavataio’s heave from just past half-court banks off the backboard and the rim and GW holds on to win 70-68 as the Hart Center gasps and sighs. Check back later for a full post-game writeup.

9:07 p.m. Taylor’s first shot rattles in and out; his second misses short.

9:06 p.m. Brown hits a three and it’s still not over. Cavataio fouls Taylor with 3.5 seconds to go and GW leading 70-68.

9:05 p.m. Ware hits both this time and it’s 70-65 GW.

9:05 p.m. Cavataio scores on the other end, cutting GW’s lead to 68-65, and Ware is again fouled with 8.4 seconds left.

9:03 p.m. Holy Cross can’t score on its next possession, then Ware is fouled once the Colonials’ get the ball and push it the other way. Hi misses both shots.

9:02 p.m. Hollis hits both shots and GW leads 68-63 with 31.6 seconds left in regulation.

9:02 p.m. After having their second attempt poked away and out of bounds before it could find a GW player’s hands, Bynes finally gets the ball in to Hollis, who is fouled almost immediately.

9:00 p.m. Bynes can’t find anyone to pass the ball to, so he calls a timeout. GW will try to inbound the ball again momentarily.

8:58 p.m. Taylor knocks down a pull-up jumper after dribbling down much of the clock, then Beinert hits a three for Holy Cross to cut the Colonials’ lead to 66-63 with 33.7 seconds remaining. Hobbs has called a timeout before GW’s possession.

8:56 p.m. Taylor is fouled during a tangle in the paint and gets sent to the line, where he makes both shots to put the Colonials ahead 64-60 with 1:28 to go.

8:54 p.m. May hits a three and the Hart Center’s pulse is picking up. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Hobbs calls a timeout with GW’s lead now just 62-60 with 1:50 left in the game. They are playing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” over the speakers.

8:52 p.m. Hollis gets fouled in the backcourt and makes both shots to push GW’s lead back to seven.

8:50 p.m. Taylor is whistled for a late foul after Beinert misses a three for Holy Cross. Taylor seemed to get the worst of the interaction, catching a hand to the face. He’s holding his eye or nose as he asks an official what happened. Beinert hits all three shots and it’s 60-55 Colonials just inside of the game’s final three minutes.

8:48 p.m. May hits two free throws after the Hollis foul, cutting GW’s lead to eight, then Hollis is called for traveling. There’s an issue now as the scoreboard has not been updated to reflect May’s second converted free throw. People are yelling. The score was changed. People are cheering. It’s 60-52 GW with 3:13 left.

8:46 p.m. Hollis picks up his fourth foul. He joins Katuka and Kromah as Colonials in danger of fouling out.

8:45 p.m. Adam May hits a three for Holy Cross, then Hollis knocks down a jumper. GW leads 60-50 with 3:26 on the clock.

8:43 p.m. Brown goes into the stands after fouling Bynes in transition and straight up wrecks a couple of little kids sitting in the first row of bleachers. Everyone appears to be okay. Bynes makes both shots and GW leads 58-47 with 4:23 left in regulation.

8:39 p.m. Hollis scores on a put-back and Bynes throws down a dunk in transition and suddenly GW’s lead is back to nine. The Colonials lead 56-47 during a Holy Cross timeout with 5:21 to play.

8:38 p.m. Hollis scores a second-chance basket in the paint after Ware grabs an offensive rebound, then Hollis draws a charge on the other end. It’s 52-47 GW with 6:17 left.

8:35 p.m. GW gets called for a shot-clock violation after an airball and the Colonials go into a timeout at the 7:39 mark with their lead down to just 50-45. Brown added a bucket on a dazzling drive during the Crusaders’ last possession, giving him a game-high 17 points so far, at least 14 of which have come in the last 12 minutes of game time.

8:33 p.m. Smith gets a pass while running along the baseline then goes up and under the basket for a left-handed layup, but Brown hits a three on the other end. It’s 50-43 GW with just under nine minutes left.

8:31 p.m. Katuka then picks up his fourth personal foul and heads to the bench, being replaced by Opoku. Hobbs gives him a pat of apparent encouragement on his way past him. Holy Cross misses both free throws.

8:30 p.m. Katuka heads to the line and hits two shots to push GW’s lead back to eight.

8:29 p.m. The Crusaders’ Beinert is whistled for failing to advance the ball in five seconds as King and other Colonials swarm him on defense.

8:27 p.m. Kromah is called for a hand-check on the perimeter, sending us into a timeout at the 11:24 mark with the score still 46-40.

8:25 p.m. Brown is somehow left open for another three attempt, but he misses it. Evans grabs the rebound and scores, then Katuka scores on the other end. It’s 46-40 GW and Holy Cross calls a timeout as they struggle to bring the ball up against the Colonials’ press.

8:23 p.m. King finds Hollis under the basket for another bucket, but Brown hits his third straight three for Holy Cross and it’s 44-38 GW with less than 13 minutes to go.

8:23 p.m. Brown drains a deep, deep three for Holy Cross and GW’s lead is cut to seven with 14 minutes left.

8:21 p.m. Hollis scores for the first time since he put GW ahead 8-2 and it’s 42-32 Colonials. Hollis scored on a layup after driving to his right.

8:19 p.m. Brown hits a three for Holy Cross and we’ve got ourselves a ballgame. Hobbs calls a timeout with his team’s lead cut to 40-32 with 15:28 to play.

8:17 p.m. Not a lot of scoring in the second half’s first four minutes. GW leads 40-29 during a media/officials/whatever timeout at the 15:55 mark.

8:12 p.m. Ware and redshirt junior Travis King run a nice fast break, passing the ball back and forth without it ever touching the ground, then Ware finishes strong will being fouled to put GW ahead 40-26. He missed the free throw though.

8:10 p.m. I received word during halftime from Associate Sports Information Director Brad Bower that injured freshman Tim Johnson is expected to miss at least a week of action after spraining his left ankle at East Carolina last week. He’s expected to return sometime in the first three games of A-10 play.

8:10 p.m. Ware gets his shot blocked but collects the ball and goes up again, this time scoring to give GW a 38-24 lead in the first minute of the second half.

7:56 p.m. The Colonials own a 36-22 lead at the break, thanks largely to a strong opening that saw them throw a 22-6 lead on the board before the Crusaders had much of a chance to get going. Smith has already equaled last game’s career-high with 11 points while also tying Opoku for the team lead in rebounds with four. Smith has scored in all kinds of ways – inside and outside, on put-backs and jumpers – and seems to be coming on strong midway through his first season. Of the five healthy freshman, he had seen the least playing time through the team’s first nine games, but he’s gotten more minutes lately and done a lot with them.

Taylor, fresh off setting a career high of his own with 20 points last game, is second on the team with six points in the first half, scoring on a pair of threes from opposite corners. Taylor saw the most playing time in the first half with 17 minutes. Hollis scored five straight points – a pull-up jumper and a three – very early on but hasn’t scored since in nine minutes of total action.

The Colonials seem to be in firm control of this game, getting scoring from here and there and outrebounding Holy Cross 21 to 17 while the Crusaders have struggled to shoot the ball. If GW comes out and plays the way it did in the first half, they should be in good shape, but there’s still just as much basketball to come as there is already gone.

7:51 p.m. I don’t have the names of tonight’s officials, but one of them is evidently named Kevin. Both head coaches seem to be addressing most of their grievances and inquiries to him.

7:49 p.m. Smith comes flying through the air to softly put back a miss by Opoku to put GW ahead 36-20 inside the two-minute mark. His coming out party from last week certainly seems to be carrying over.

7:44 p.m. Smith scores a second-chance basket off an offensive rebound and then Cavataio dribbles off his foot to give the Colonials the ball back, leading 32-18 with 3:31 to go before halftime.

7:42 p.m. Kromah puts in a layup and Ware helps force a turnover on defense to seemingly end the Crusaders’ small burst of control for now.

7:41 p.m. The momentum is swinging a bit here as the hosts have gone on a run of six unanswered points to get their fans excited again. It’s 28-18 GW inside of the first half’s final five minutes.

7:40 p.m. Andrew Beinert hits a three for Holy Cross and then the Crusaders end up on the winning end of two straight battles for rebounds, inspiring the crowd to show some signs of life. It’s 28-15 GW at the 5:30 mark.

7:39 p.m. You always hear people get up in arms about names like the Redskins or Indians or Braves. Does anyone ever say anything about the Crusaders?

7:37 p.m. Devin Brown hits two foul shots for the Crusaders to cut GW’s lead to 28-12 with about seven minutes left until halftime. Five of the Crusaders’ 12 points have come on free throws.

7:34 p.m. Smith hits a pair of free throws after being fouled going up for a transition dunk and it’s 26-10 GW during a break in the action at the 7:56 mark. Smith now leads all scorers with seven points in the game; Taylor is second with six and Hollis has added five. Opoku leads GW with three rebounds.

7:32 p.m. Redshirt sophomore forward Jabari Edwards, who was recently nursing a knee injury, is in the game.

7:30 p.m. Katuka posts up and scores, then picks up his second personal foul in transition to send Evans to the line. Evans makes one of two and it’s 24-9 Colonials.

7:28 p.m. Ware just scored on a very nifty and quick drive from the right side of the free-throw line to the left side of the basket. Cavataio missed two foul shots on the other end. It’s 22-6 GW.

7:27 p.m. Mike Cavataio breaks the Holy Cross drought with a layup. It’s 20-6 GW with 11 minutes left in the half.

7:26 p.m. The Crusaders’ leading scorer, R.J. Evans, just missed both free throws. It’s been that kind of night for them so far.

7:23 p.m. Freshman Bryan Bynes is called for a hand check, the second or third such call made against the Colonials already. It’s 20-4 now, with Bynes driving and scoring on a layup on the Colonials’ last possession. There’s 11:33 left in the first half. This place is really, really quiet during the ongoing timeout.

7:22 p.m. Opoku goes to the line and makes both shots, pushing GW’s lead to 18-4.

7:15 p.m. Freshman Dwayne Smith, who broke out in the East Carolina win with 11 points, seven rebounds, and the game-tying bucket at the buzzer, can’t find anyone to pass it to and pulls up to drain a three instead. Then he throws down a dunk to make it 16-3 GW.

7:14 p.m. We’ve got our first official timeout at the 15:44 mark and GW leads 11-3. There’s a relatively good crowd here at the cozy Hart Center, with the bleacher sections being just about full and the smaller seated areas being about half-full.

7:11 p.m. Hobbs yells for someone to “throw it in” as the Colonials pass it around the perimeter and Opoku battles for position in the post, but then Taylor hits another three from the corner. It’s 11-2 Colonials with about 16:30 left in the first half.

7:10 p.m. Hollis buries a pull-up jumper then a three and it’s 8-2 GW at the 17:17 mark as Kromah picks up his first foul of the game.

7:09 p.m. Taylor opens the scoring with a three from the corner to put GW ahead 3-0, then Kromah breaks up a would-be Holy Cross dunk. There’s just over 18 minutes left in the first half.

7:03 p.m. Your starting Colonials: sophomore Tony Taylor and freshman Lasan Kromah at guard, sophomore Aaron Ware and senior Damian Hollis at forward, and senior Hermann Opoku at center. Junior Joseph Katuka had started at center every game this season prior to tonight. It will be Opoku’s first start since last year.

6:55 p.m. Forgot to note that tonight’s game is sort of a homecoming for freshman Daymon Warren, who attended nearby Worcester Academy. So there you go. Head coach Karl Hobbs and senior walk-on J.P. Cotton are both natives of the Boston area, so they are having homecomings of sorts but Wednesday’s game at Harvard will be a bit closer.

Hey there and welcome to tonight’s live blog for the men’s basketball team’s game at Holy Cross, the team’s first game since a wild win at East Carolina last Tuesday and second in the last 16 days. The Colonials enter tonight with a two-game winning streak and an 8-2 overall record, led in scoring and rebounding by senior Damian Hollis, who averages 15.1 points and five rebounds per game, and in assists by Tony Taylor’s 4.1 average. Freshman guard Lasan Kromah is second in scoring with 12.1 points per game and is shooting 44.7 percent from three-point distance in his first year.

GW will be without the services of freshman guard Tim Johnson, who injured his ankle at East Carolina last week and is not suited up for tonight’s contest. We’ll have more on his status and the extent of his injury later.

The Crusaders are just 2-9 this season, their lone wins coming in consecutive games against Marist and Brown nearly a month ago. Since then, they fell to Atlantic 10 member Massachusetts, Fairfield, and Sacred Heart. This is the team’s fifth home game of the year; they defeated Marist and lost to Sacred Heart, Loyola (Ill.), and Harvard in the other three. Harvard will actually be GW’s next opponent, with the Colonials traveling there Wednesday.

Holy Cross starts just one senior – center Eric Meister, who averages 6.7 points and 6.5 boards per outing – and is led in scoring by sophomore guard R.J. Evans, who averages 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds. Junior Andrew Keister is the team’s top rebounder with 7.8 per contest while also scoring 10.6 points per game.

The opening tip is still almost 20 minutes away, so we’ll be back with more updates – including starting lineups – up to the start and throughout the game.

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