GW Men's Hoops Edged by Xavier, 59-58
Taylor, Mikic and Kromah Combine for 50 Points in Loss
Feb. 1, 2012
WASHINGTON - Senior Tony Taylor scored 20 points and sophomore Nemanja Mikic added 19, but Xavier guard Tu Holloway scored the game-winner with 30 seconds left to lift the visiting Musketeers to a 59-58 victory over George Washington men's basketball on Wednesday evening at the Charles E. Smith Center.
It marked the third straight meeting between GW (8-14, 3-5 A-10) and Xavier (15-7, 6-3 A-10) that was decided by single-digits, and the contest featured three ties and 13 lead changes, with Holloway providing the deciding basket to lift the Musketeers to their seventh straight victory in the series.
Taylor and Mikic combined for nine of the Colonials' 10 three-pointers and coupled to score 39 points, while junior Lasan Kromah posted his third career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Taylor added five assists against just one turnover as GW committed a season-low seven giveaways.
Mikic's fifth three-pointer of the game gave GW a two-point lead with 4:28 left, and Taylor made two free throws for a 58-54 advantage with 3:22 to play.
GW wouldn't score the rest of the way though as Xavier got a free throw from Kenny Frease on its next possession, then Holloway scored two baskets over the final 75 seconds to rally the Musketeers and cap his 21-points, seven-assist, six-rebound performance.
After Frease's free throw made it 58-55 with 2:54 to play, Mikic and Taylor missed jump shots around a missed Frease layup to give XU the ball with 1:39 left.
Holloway drove for a lay-in to pull the Musketeers within one, 58-57, at the 1:15 mark, followed by a missed contested jumper from Kromah with 46 seconds remaining. Holloway then drove the lane, pump-faked, and hit a 10-foot jumper over a defender for the go-ahead basket with 30 seconds left.
The Colonials called timeout with 23 seconds to play and tried to set up a play for Taylor, but the Musketeers' pressure defense forced junior Bryan Bynes to drive the lane in the final seconds. His shot missed, and junior Dwayne Smith and Kromah both had opportunities for a put-back, but both attempts missed to snap GW's four-game home win streak.
Frease was the only other XU player to reach double figures with 10, while Mark Lyons chipped in nine points and Brad Redford added eight.
GW was limited to 27 percent (9-of-33) in the second half to finish at 35.5 percent (22-of-62) for the night, while Xavier shot 41.5 percent (22-of-53).
Mikic made a trio of three-pointers and scored 13 points in the first half, and Taylor netted 10 to spark GW to a 34-31 lead at halftime. The Colonials made five early triples to race out to a 19-10 advantage before the Musketeers used a 13-2 run to grab a brief 23-21 lead. Mikic silenced the run with his third triple of the half and GW edged its way to a two-point lead at the break. It was the first time this season the Colonials lost after leading at intermission (5-1).
The Colonials were without the services of junior David Pellom, their third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, who missed his third straight game due to a left knee injury.
At halftime, the GW Department of Athletics recognized more than 300 student-athletes who qualified for the Athletic Academic Dean's List during the 2011 calendar year.
GW hosts Massachusetts (16-6, 5-3 A-10) at the Charles E. Smith Center this Saturday at 7 p.m.
The contest will be televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) and NewsChannel 8. It can also be viewed live on GW All-Access and heard live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.