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The GW Hatchet

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Men’s basketball falls to La Salle amid injury woes, extends losing streak to 12

File Photo by Daniel Heuer | Staff Photographer
Redshirt freshman forward Darren Buchanan Jr. attacks the rim against a Richmond defender.

Men’s basketball (14-15, 3-13 A-10) was unable to snap their losing streak, falling to La Salle (15-15, 6-11 A-10) 66-72 on the road Saturday, stretching their losing run to 12. 

The now 12-game losing streak is the program’s longest since the disastrous 1988-89 season, when the team picked up only one win between 14- and 13-game losing streaks. Only six Revs played in the game, with redshirt freshman guard Garrett Johnson and redshirt sophomore guard Maximus Edwards nursing injuries.

Redshirt freshman forward Darren Buchanan led all scorers with 21 points on 7-16 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Fifth-year senior guard James Bishop contributed 18 points and freshman guard Jacoi Hutchinson scored 15 points on 50 percent shooting. 

The Revs shot 47.1 percent from the field in comparison to the Explorers’ 43.1 percent. However, the Explorers’ dominance on the offensive glass and success stealing the ball allowed them 65 attempts from the field compared to GW’s 51. La Salle brought down 13 offensive boards and collected eight steals compared to GW’s six and one, respectively.

The Explorers’ senior guard Anwar Gill opened the game with a 3-pointer a minute in. Bishop was fouled on the Revs’ first offensive possession, connecting on one of two free throws. Graduate student center Babatunde Akingbola made a fastbreak shot in the paint of a steal, quickly tying the game 3-3 just three minutes into the first half. 

Buchanan hit a jumper and the Explorers responded with a 3-pointer just under five minutes in. Buchanan immediately fired back with a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game 8-8 with under 13 minutes to go in the first half. Off an Akingbola block the following possession, Buchanan facilitated the fast break, dishing the ball off to Hutchinson for a layup to give the Revs their first lead of the game with a score of 10-8.

The Explorers broke off multiple runs in the first half, including a 7-0 run that gave them a 5-point lead with 11 minutes remaining in the half. Bishop immediately responded with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 2, but the Explorers responded with a 3-pointer of their own, making the score 18-13 halfway through the first half. 

A 10-2 Explorers run, starting with nine minutes left, stretched their lead to double-digits, countering a Buchanan layup with three of their own, expanding their lead to 11 points and bringing the score to 17-28. 

With four minutes remaining in the first half, freshman guard Trey Autry connected a 3-pointer, cutting the deficit of 12 points to 9, making the score 23-32. The Explorers continued their scoring barrage, pushing their lead to 13 points, with just under three minutes left in the half, their largest lead of the game.

To close out the half, the Revs scored 5 straight, with Hutchinson and Buchanan each scoring. Buchanan ended the quarter with one successful free throw out of two, cutting the first-half deficit to 8, 30-38. 

To start the second half, Hutchinson hit a 3-pointer, cutting the La Salle lead to just 5. The Revs then outscored the Explorers 15-8 to take a 48-46 lead with just over 12 minutes remaining. GW’s second-half comeback was aided primarily by Bishop, who contributed two-consecutive 3-pointers to give GW a momentary lead.

The Revs were unable to extend their lead past two, with a turnover from Trey Autry allowing the Explorers to hit a 3-pointer with just over 10 minutes remaining to take a 53-52 lead. Two free throws from sophomore guard Benny Schroder gave GW a 56-55 lead with just over nine minutes left, in what would end up being their last time ahead.

The Explorers quickly took back the lead as senior guard Jhamir Brickus hit a three on their following possession. The Revs were still within reach as Bishop scored in the paint with 6:51 left, bringing the Revs within 2, 58-60. The Revs were able to keep the deficit within 2, with free throws from Buchanan and Hutchinson responding to two made jumpers from La Salle. With 1:28 left, a Brickus jump shot extended the Explorer lead to four. Buchanan was unable to respond this time, missing a shot in the paint the next possession. The Explorers extended their lead to 70-62 with just 12 seconds remaining, with GW missing two 3-pointers during La Salle’s run. Four late points from Bishop and free throws from La Salle brought the final score to 72-66.

Bishop scored twice in the final seven seconds of the game, but his efforts were not strong enough to make a dent in the Explorers’ widened lead over the Revs, ending the game 66-72.

The Revs will return to the Smith Center for their last home game of the season to face St. Bonaventure on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

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