Men’s Basketball Tops Ohio in 2OT Classic, Move to 5-0 for First Time Since 2015

By: Matthew Brooks (@brooksie1219)

GW men’s basketball just gave fans a taste of March in November. The Revolutionaries (5-0) beat Ohio in the first round of the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship, 99-94 in a double overtime thriller on Friday night. GW improves to 5-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season. 

“Great win for us,” Head Coach Chris Caputo said after the game. “We have a lot of respect for Ohio U’s Program. The job that Coach Boals has done, that’s a team that’s won games in the NCAA tournament, we think a lot of them. So, great win for the program.”

The GW offense came out on fire for the entire first half. The 44-point half was led by redshirt freshman forward Darren Buchanan. He connected on all six of his field goal attempts to tally 12 points. With five GW players scoring seven or more first-half points, and nine assists for the team, it was clear that GW’s offense scheme was to spread the ball around and involve all of their main scoring options. 

The first-half defense was not quite the masterclass the offense put on, but it was good. Three steals helped force ten total turnovers against an Ohio team that heading into Friday’s matchup had the 14th lowest turnover percentage in the country. The Revs did struggle with turnovers of their own, surrendering nine. They also couldn’t protect the rim, allowing 20 of Ohio’s 34 first-half points to come from the paint. These two issues became exacerbated in the second half and would become major reasons GW’s first-half 44-34 lead would eventually turn into an overtime game.

The tempo slowed down early in the second half, which tempered the scoring more into the realm of what’s typical. GW held the lead for most of the half, but Ohio was able to slowly chip away. Then with around six minutes left, they made their move, going on a 7-0 run that took them from down three to up four. The Ohio scoring effort was led by senior guard Jaylin Hunter, who totaled 25 for the Bobcats (2-2) on 8-for-13 shooting.  

It was the free throw line that ended up saving GW and allowing them to tie the game back up. Redshirt sophomore guard Maximus Edwards and redshirt freshman wing Garrett Johnson would both sink a pair of late free throws to tie the game back up. Free throws were a pivotal part of the entire game for both teams, with GW going 21-for-27 on the day, and 12-for-15 in that crucial second half. On the contrary, Ohio only went 15-for-25 from the charity stripe, and 2-for-5 in the last four minutes of regulation.

Overtime came and GW needed Buchanan to step up big-time. They needed ten extra minutes out of him at the center position with starting graduate center Babatunde “Stretch” Akingbola having fouled out near the end of regulation. 

Buchanan delivered. He came up with a huge dunk with 20 seconds left in the first overtime period that put GW up 83-82. GW had struggled to stop Ohio from attacking the basket in regulation, but Buchanan contained the Bobcats in the paint during overtime. He finished as player of the game with 25 points on 9-for-12 from the field, also tacking on six rebounds. Buchanan and senior guard James Bishop were the only scoring contributors in the first overtime.

Critical in the Revs second overtime effort was Edwards. After the first overtime period went back and forth, Edwards gave GW the early advantage in period two by making two clutch threes, putting GW on a 7-0 run. Then, he hit an unimaginable fade-away contested dagger that put GW up 96-90 with 31 seconds left to play. He contributed on every area of the floor, finishing with 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. 

Bishop led the team in scoring in the thriller, tallying 28 points on 10-for-21 from the field and 4-for-9 from three. He also led GW with five assists and missed the potential game-winning three-pointer at the end of regulation, with Coach Caputo electing not to take a timeout.

Another thread of chaos that wove through this game was the floor. The players were frequently slipping and falling, and the crews that were there to dry the court were about triple the size they usually are. It may have looked concerning to a viewer, but Coach Caputo was not worried. 

“In these moist climates, tropical climates, it’s going to get a little bit slippery. But I don’t think it was terrible.”

The tournament continues tomorrow where GW will face another tough opponent in the University of Illinois Chicago Flames (4-1). Additionally, with GW needing the extra ten minutes to secure the victory, Bishop, Edwards, Buchanan, and Johnson all played over 40 minutes.

Regardless, they’ll look to extend their historic undefeated streak to six on Saturday 11/25 at 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast on the most shameful network in the history of sports, FloSports, whose controversies include but are not limited to linking to underage nude photos of gold medal gymnast McKayla Maroney, publishing video footage of Olympic trial events that NBCUniversal owned the rights to, and this month settling a class action lawsuit out of court that alleged they “misled customers into believing they [were] only being charged a monthly fee — rather than the full annual fee — when they first sign[ed] up for the sports streaming service.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *