Men’s Basketball Extends Losing Skid to Ten, Fall to Last in Conference

By Matthew Brooks (@brooksie1219)

Photo credit: Jason Aigner

GW men’s basketball (14-13, 3-11 A10) have fallen to the bottom of the table in the Atlantic 10 with their loss to the previous occupiers of that spot, the Saint Louis Billikens (10-17, 3-11 A10).

The Revs kept the score close throughout the game, but lackluster three point defense, 24 personal fouls, and generally sloppy defensive play kept the Revs from closing the gap until it was too late.

“We continue to struggle defensively being a little undermanned,” said GW head coach Chris Caputo. “The last two games I’ve been very proud of our second half defense, but it was just too wide of a margin in the first half.”

GW continued to struggle mightily at creating stops and guarding shooters off of the pass. Saint Louis shot 12-for-19 from three in the first half, many of which were uncontested. They finished with 17 total assists and all seven Billikens that recorded more than ten minutes of playing time scored nine or more points in a true team offensive effort. The halftime score was 55-42 in favor of Saint Louis.

Still without redshirt freshman forwards Garrett Johnson and Darren Buchanan Jr, the Revolutionaries once again looked to senior guard James Bishop IV to lead the offense, and he took care of business. He put up a season-high 34 points shooting 55% from the field, and made a season-high seven three pointers shooting 63.6% from behind the arc. Bishop also led the team with six assists and recorded five rebounds.

Coach Caputo described the injury status of Johnson and Buchanan as “day-to-day” just as he has for the past week.

Most of the remainder of GW’s offensive output came between freshman guard Jacoi Hutchinson and redshirt sophomore guard Maximus Edwards. Hutchinson finished with 18 points on 50% shooting, with four assists and seven rebounds. Edwards came off the bench, but still played 31 minutes, finishing with 19 points, shooting 64% from the field, and grabbing five rebounds.

All in all, there truly is not much left to be said in a stretch of games like this one. There are only so many ways to say that the defense has not been as good as it needs to be, and that it’s difficult to snap out of a losing streak when you lose two critically important starters. 

In my opinion there was a lot of hope after Wednesday’s loss at St. Joe’s. The team looked comfortable and competitive getting used to their new lineups and rotations without Buchanan and Johnson. It was potentially a breath of fresh air into a team that looked lifeless. But that sort of tone didn’t at all carry over to this loss. If there was a game to finally turn promising play into an actual win, it certainly seemed like it would be this one. I know this is incredibly subjective, but while the score was close in actuality for basically the entire game, it never felt close. It felt like a game where GW was getting destroyed and the only reason the score didn’t reflect that is because Bishop just kept making shots, specifically threes right before things were going to get out of hand.

“It’s a horrible feeling,” Caputo said about the losing streak. “I’m sick about it myself, I’m sure everyone else is as well.”

With the loss, GW falls to the bottom of the A10 standings. Their record is tied with SLU’s, and with the nature of this result they own the head to head tiebreaker against GW. The Revolutionaries next chance to secure their first win in over a month comes on Tuesday February 27 at 7:00 PM EST in the Charles E. Smith Center. GW faces UMass, the team that dealt them their first loss of this streak back on January 20. That game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and WRGW.

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