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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Men’s basketball live blog: Xavier 76, GW 69, final

2:10 p.m. Crawford misses both and Taylor misses a three on the other end. Xavier wins it 76-69. Check out tomorrow’s issue of The Hatchet and for full coverage of today’s game.

2:09 p.m. Holloway makes both, then Bynes hits a long two and it’s 76-69 with 11.3 seconds left and Crawford going to the line for Xavier.

2:08 p.m. King hits a three and it’s 74-67. Ware then fouls Holloway with 20 seconds to go.

2:08 p.m. GW can’t score on the other end and Love is fouled, hitting two shots to make it 74-64.

2:07 p.m. Holloway is fouled and makes both shots, giving Xavier a 72-64 lead. They’re on a 22-3 run.

2:05 p.m. Hollis hits a three, which gives him 1,000 career points. GW trails 70-64 with 35.1 seconds left.

2:05 p.m. Holloway hits both and Xavier leads by nine.

2:04 p.m. Love is fouled after just two seconds and makes one but misses the second. Kromah has a shot blocked at the other end and Opoku fouls Holloway. Xavier leads 68-61 with 41.6 seconds left.

2:02 p.m. Hollis misses another three and the ball goes out of bounds, giving Xavier possession with 56.6 seconds on the clock.

2:00 p.m. A second-chance bucket by Love makes it 67-61 Xavier with 1:07 left. Hobbs calls a timeout. Love, who had one rebound in the first half, has 11 rebounds after halftime.

2:00 p.m. Hollis misses a three from the corner and Xavier has the ball, leading by four with 1:30 on the clock.

1:58 p.m. Taylor is whistled for a foul on the perimeter and sends Holloway to the line. He makes both and Xavier leads by four with 2:07 to play.

1:57 p.m. Ware is fouled by Love in the lane and makes the first but misses the second. Xavier leads 63-61 with three minutes to go.

1:56 p.m. Holloway dribbles around and past Hollis for a layup to push Xavier’s lead to three with a little over three minutes left.

1:53 p.m. Hollis gets a huge block after Xavier is able to get a second chance off of an offensive rebound and it goes out of bounds to send the game into an official timeout. Xavier leads 61-60 at the 3:49 mark and GW has not hit a field goal in almost nine minutes of game time.

1:52 p.m. Taylor bowls over Holloway at midcourt and it’s called a block, which sends Taylor to the line for the one-and-one.  He misses the first shot and it goes out of bounds and will be Xavier ball.

1:51 p.m. Spotted in the stands: former GW player Rob Diggs, who graduated last year.

1:50 p.m. Crawford hits a shot from the baseline and Xavier has its first lead in a long time. They’re up 61-60 at the 4:43 mark and Hobbs has called timeout.

1:50 p.m. McLean tips one in over Opoku and it’s a one-point game at the five-minute mark. GW hasn’t made a field goal in more than four minutes.

1:48 p.m. Xavier calls timeout as Jackson and Taylor wrestle for a loose ball with the Colonials’ lead still three points with 5:41 on the clock. This game has changed a lot over the last two minutes of action, as Xavier’s 7-0 run has made this a close game and brought their vocal contingent of fans back to life.

1:47 p.m. Jackson hits a three and it’s 60-57 GW with six minutes to play. Xavier fans are chanting “defense” very loudly.

1:46 p.m. Hollis picks up two quick fouls, giving him three in the game and sending Love to the line. He makes both shots and GW’s lead is down to six with 6:40 to go.

1:45 p.m. Out of the timeout, Crawford drives and scores a layup to cut the margin to eight.

1:42 p.m. Katuka and King both go out of bounds while trying to grab a defensive rebound, meaning Xavier will keep possession after an official timeout. GW leads 60-50 with 7:42 to play.

1:40 p.m. Opoku gets fouled in the paint and heads to the free-throw line, where makes both shots to once again make it a 10-point lead for the Colonials.

1:39 p.m. Crawford has a three rattle around the rim and then bounce up and off the backboard to fall in, making it a 58-50 game inside of the nine-minute mark.

1:38 p.m. Taylor hits a jumper in the shot clock’s final few seconds to make it 58-47 GW with about 9:30 to go.

1:37 p.m. Love makes one of two shots and it’s a nine-point game again.

1:36 p.m. Hollis heads to the line and makes one of two shots to push GW’s lead to 10.

1:35 p.m. Hobbs doesn’t like what he sees as Taylor dribbles at the perimeter and calls a timeout. In the last six real-time minutes there have been 71 seconds of basketball played. It’s still 55-46 GW with 10:29 to go.

1:31 p.m. Taylor with a baseline jumper and it’s 55-46 Colonials at the 11:07 mark. Kromah is called for a charge after getting a steal and pushing it the other way and the game stops again for an official timeout.

1:29 p.m. Crawford hits a three and GW leads by seven, 53-46, during a timeout at the 11:40 mark. Crawford, the team’s leading scorer this season, now has 11 points today. He’s made three of four three-point attempts but missed all five of his attempts inside of the arc. Xavier is 7-for-13 on threes.

1:26 p.m. Taylor gets called for the foul while mixing it up with Hollis going for a rebound.

1:26 p.m. Hollis hits a pull-up jumper for the 995th and 996th points of his career, then gets tangled up with Xavier’s Andrew Taylor and the two are separated by officials. GW leads 51-41 with 13 minutes left.

1:25 p.m. Kromah misses the first but hits his second free throw to make it 49-41 GW with 13:45 to play.

1:24 p.m. Redford misses a three, but Love scores on the put-back to cut GW’s lead to seven. Love is now the first Musketeer in double figures with 11 points.

1:23 p.m. Shot clock violation on GW.

1:22 p.m. A very loud “Let’s go X!” chant out of that timeout. Score is still 48-39 GW with about 15 minutes left.

1:19 p.m. One of the crazier loose balls I’ve seen this season ends with it going out of bounds off of Xavier and GW getting the ball after an official timeout featuring the Pita Pit Dance Contest.

1:16 p.m. The 6-foot-3 Bynes blocks 6-foot-9 Love inside and Opoku gets fouled on the other end, where he makes one of two. GW leads 48-39 with 16:20 left.

1:15 p.m. Holloway is fouled by Opoku under the basket and goes to the line, where he makes both to make it a 47-39 GW lead with 17:11 left.

1:14 p.m. Ware grabs a rebound off a Kromah miss and puts it in to keep GW up 10, 47-37.

1:11 p.m. After Kromah makes one of two free throws, he and Crawford trade threes and GW leads 45-35 with 18:27 to go.

1:10 p.m. Love starts off the second half with a basket to cut GW’s lead to nine.

1:02 p.m. The Colonials are holding an 11-point lead at halftime, certainly not an expected development this afternoon. This has come in large part to senior Damian Hollis’s game-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and their ability to out-rebound the Musketeers 14 to nine thus far. They’ve forced 11 turnovers and scored 17 points off of them, always a key for a team like GW that looks to get a lot of its scoring in transition.

Sophomore Aaron Ware is tied for the team lead (with Opoku) with three rebounds and has done a good job turning those rebounds into points, twice scoring immediately after an offensive rebound. He has six points, with his other bucket coming on a nice drive to the hoop through the lane.

For GW to turn this lead into a win, it is going to need to keep up its rebounding prowess and continue to force turnovers. Their game plan seems to be working very well thus far and they’ve benefited from a number of Xavier mistakes, but with a team as strong as the Musketeers usually are, those types of things might not continue after a halftime regrouping. One troubling statistic is that Xavier has been able to make five of eight three-point attempts, which has been a weak spot in GW’s defense all season long. If the Colonials keep it up they could come away with a statement victory this afternoon, but a lot can happen. There is, after all, just as much basketball after halftime as there was before it.

12:54 p.m. Hollis hits a shot from the baseline to put GW up 41-30 heading into the break.

12:50 p.m. Holy cow bell. Hollis hits a three on the next possession and GW leads by 11 with 1:32 left in the first half. Fans are standing and clapping to the fight song during a Xavier timeout.

12:49 p.m. Hollis heads to the line and makes both shots as a Xavier fan’s cow bell is confiscated. The student section is asking where his cow bell went via chant. GW leads 36-28 with about two minutes to go in the half and Hollis just got a monster block on a shot in the paint bu Jackson.

12:48 p.m. Taylor airballs a jumper, but Ware grabs it and puts it in off the glass to keep GW ahead by six. It’s 34-28 with 2:40 left in the first half.

12:47 p.m. Opoku gets fouled and hits two shots to put GW up 32-26 with 3:30 left in the half.

12:45 p.m. Men’s basketball legend Pops Mensah-Bonsu, part of the last GW team to beat Xavier, was just shown sitting courtside and received hearty applause.

12:42 p.m. Hollis hits both and the Colonials lead 30-26 with five minutes left in the first half.

12:41 p.m. And ust like that, Taylor hits a three to put GW back in front 28-26. Hollis then gets a steal and breaks away for a dunk, but is fouled from behind and misses the shot. He’ll shoot two.

12:41 p.m. Johnson finds Kromah for a nice layup under the basket, but Redford hits his third three of the game to put Xavier ahead 26-25.

12:39 p.m. Xavier’s Terrell Holloway misses the first but makes the second and the game is tied at 23.

12:36 p.m. A Love dunk puts Xavier ahead, but then freshman David Pellom hits a jumper for GW and it’s 23-22 Colonials with 6:34 to go. King is called for a foul on the other end and Xavier will get two shots on the other end of an official timeout.

12:35 p.m. Freshman guard Tim Johnson, who missed the last four games with an ankle injury, is back on the floor for GW.

12:34 p.m. Ware flies through the paint with a nice take to the hoop to give GW the lead back. It’s 21-20 with 7:23 left in the half and Xavier has called a timeout.

12:34 p.m. McLean makes one of two foul shots and Ware scores after an offensive rebound to make it a one-point game with under eight minutes to go in the half.

12:31 p.m. Freshman Bryan Bynes drives and banks it off the glass for another basket and GW’s deficit is now two with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half.

12:30 p.m. Hollis pulls up from mid-range to knock down a jumper and make it a 19-15 game.

12:29 p.m. Two straight Xavier buckets make it 19-13 Musketeers as we approach the 10-minute mark.

12:24 p.m. By my count, Xavier has 14 non-players – assistant coaches, managers, trainers, etc. – in its huddle during this timeout. GW has seven.

12:22 p.m. Jackson and Taylor are going at it. Taylor lost the ball out of bounds when it appeared Jackson had poked it away, but Xavier got the ball. They then got a bit tangled up before the ball was inbounded and Taylor immediately bumped Jackson while he was dribbling and was called for a block. Then Redford hit a three to give Xavier a 15-13 lead with 11:47 to go before halftime.

12:21 p.m. A series of near-turnovers ends with Love laying it in uncontested under the bucket to make it a one-point game.

12:20 p.m. King misses the first but hits the second and it’s 13-10 GW with 13:16 left in the half.

12:19 p.m. With all the time in the world to set his feet, Dante Jackson ties the game at 10 with a three, but Hollis scores on the other end to reclaim the lead for GW. King then gets another steal and breaks away, but is fouled going for the layup.

12:18 p.m. King jumps a pass to get a steal in the backcourt and breaks away for a layup to make it 10-7 GW with just over 14 minutes.

12:17 p.m. Out of the timeout, Hollis lobs up an alley-oop for Opoku, but he can barely get a grip on the ball and it clanks off the back iron.

12:14 p.m. Opoku stuffs a shot attempt by Xavier’s Jamel McLean (I believe it was him; there were a lot of bodies in the paint) and a jump ball is called, sending the game into its first official timeout with GW leading 8-7 at the 15:31 mark. Xavier keeps getting whistled on the offensive end – stepping out of bounds, traveling, offensive fouls away from the ball – and as a result have only taken five shots to GW’s nine. They’ve made both three-pointers they’ve tried, while the Colonials have missed all three of their tries.

12:12 p.m. Crawford hobbles off the court under his own power and is replaced by Brad Redford, who hits a three for Xavier to cut GW’s lead to one.

12:10 p.m. Katuka fouls love and sends him tot he line, where he makes one of two shots to make it 8-4 GW.

12:09 p.m. Katuka tips in a Hollis miss and Hollis gets a steal at midcourt to create his own fast break basket and GW leads 8-3 after two minutes.

12:08 p.m. Katuka lays it in to take the lead back. 5-2 GW at the 18:42 mark.

12:07 p.m. Hollis opens up the scoring with a jumper from the wing, but Crawford hits a three on the other end and Xavier leads 3-2 after the first minute of action.

11:57 p.m. Xavier’s team just took the floor to… cheers, mostly. Maybe my perspective is skewed since I’m sitting right in front of a bunch of their fans, but they’ve got a good turnout and traveling crowds tend to be pretty vocal. One guy has a cow bell.

11:55 p.m. Fun fact: Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen appears in both team’s media guides. In GW’s, he’s in a picture with head coach Karl Hobbs, who was an assistant at Connecticut when Allen starred there in the mid-90s. In Xavier’s, he’s posing for a photo with the Larry O’Brien Trophy with James Posey, a Xavier graduate who won an NBA title with Allen on the 2007-08 Celtics. Maybe it’s not that fun, but it’s a fact.

11:48 p.m. Your GW starters: sophomore Tony Taylor and freshman Lasan Kromah at guard, sophomore Aaron Ware and senior Damian Hollis at forward, and junior Joseph Katuka at center. No surprises.

Good morning and welcome to the live blog for today’s men’s basketball game against Xavier, only the Colonials’ second home game in the past month. It will be GW’s second game in Atlantic 10 play after edging St. Bonaventure on the road Wednesday, which marked the team’s 11th win this season, more than they had last year (10) or the year before (nine). In that win, freshman Lasan Kromah broke out of a four-game slump in a big way with a career-high 23 points, which earned him conference rookie of the week honors for the second time. Senior Damian Hollis had 12 points and seven rebounds in that game and has emerged as the team’s steadiest producer. He comes into the game averaging 15.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, both best on the team.

Xavier is, of course, Xavier: they’ve won the A-10 regular season or tournament title the past three seasons and appeared in eight of the last nine NCAA tournaments. Head coach Chris Mack is in his first year at the helm after Sean Miller departed to take the Arizona job and while the Musketeers come into the game with five losses, four of them came away from home against power-conference opponents (Marquette, Baylor, Kansas State, Wake Forest). The lone exception was a highly controversial loss at No. 21 Butler a few weeks ago. Among Xavier’s nine wins are victories against No. 19 Cincinnati, LSU, Creighton, and A-10 member La Salle.

The Musketeers are led in scoring my sophomore guard Jordan Crawford, who you may remember from that time he dunked on Lebron and sent Nike into crisis mode. He averages 19.4 points per game. Senior Jason Love averages 10.1 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds and forms a big inside duo with seven-foot sophomore Kenny Frease. Both are listed at an identical 265 pounds and should present a challenge in the paint for GW’s three-headed monster of junior Joseph Katuka, senior Hermann Opoku, and redshirt sophomore Jabari Edwards.

Xavier leads the all-time series 23-9 and has won the last four games between the teams and 13 of the last 15. GW’s last win over the Musketeers came in February 2006, the season the Colonials went undefeated in A-10 play.

There are foam fingers awaiting GW’s students in their section of seating, but with 20 minutes until game there are still plenty of empty seats in the Smith Center, likely in part to many students not yet returning from winter break. The Musketeers’ supporters seem to be turning out, so it should be an interesting crowd dynamic this afternoon. We’ll be back with starting lineups when we have them and updates throughout the game.

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