GW Men's Hoops Rally Falters Against Saint Joseph's, 73-66

Senior Tony Taylor flies in for two of his team-high 14 points in Saturday's 73-66 loss to Saint Joseph's at Charles E. Smith Center.

Feb. 18, 2012

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GW Coach Lonergan Post-Game vs. SJU with George Wallace (2/18/12)

GW Coach Lonergan, Taylor, Pellom Post-Game vs. SJU (2/18/12)

WASHINGTON - Playing in front of its largest home crowd of the season at Charles E. Smith Center, George Washington men's basketball nearly erased a 17-point halftime deficit, but failed to get any closer than four in a 73-66 loss to Saint Joseph's in Atlantic 10 action on Saturday.

The 3,774 fans in attendance for Homecoming weekend and the 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony were the most for GW since 4,125 turned out for a victory over George Mason in December 2009.

The crowd witnessed the Colonials storm back from a 37-20 halftime hole to within four on three different occasions in the second half, the last at 64-60 on sophomore Nemanja Mikic's short jumper in the lane with 2:13 to play.

However, Saint Joseph's guard Carl Jones hit a clutch corner three-pointer 23 seconds later and GW never got closer than five the rest of the way. The loss marks the Colonials' fourth straight at home to the Hawks dating back to 2008.

The Colonials put four players into double-figures for just the third time this season, led by senior Tony Taylor's 14 points and a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double from junior David Pellom, his second of the season. Junior Lasan Kromah scored all 13 of his points in the second half, and junior Bryan Bynes made a pair of key threes in the second half and finished with 10.

SJU also had four double-digit scorers, paced by Langston Galloway's 18 points in his first reserve role of the season. Jones chipped in 16, Daryus Quarles had 15, and Halil Kanacevic posted a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.

GW (9-17, 4-8 A-10) shot just 31 percent and was outrebounded 21-11 through the opening 20 minutes to find itself in a 37-20 deficit at halftime. The Colonials led 9-8 after a Pellom spin in the lane, but wouldn't score for nearly five minutes as the Hawks went on a 21-2 run to surge ahead.

Saint Joseph's (18-10, 8-5 A-10) matched its largest lead at 39-20 after C.J. Aiken opened the second half with an alley-oop layin. Kromah answered with his first field goal and scored six points during a 10-0 run that got GW back into the contest.

The margin hovered between 7-to-12 points until the Colonials made a surge with less than six minutes to play. Taylor found Pellom for a half-court alley-oop dunk, then converted a transition layup on a steal-and-pass from Bynes to narrow the gap to 58-54 with 5:12 to play.

Galloway and Jones scored in the paint to push SJU's lead back to eight, but a Pellom foul shot and Kromah three-pointer again made it a four-point game, 62-58, with 2:51 left, followed by Mikic's short shot in the lane to make it 64-60 with 2:13 remaining.

The Colonials made half of their 32 shots in the second frame to finish at 41 percent for the game, yet failed to take advantage of their season-low six turnovers.

The Hawks cooled to 34.5 percent from the field in the second half following a blistering 55 percent first half shooting performance en route to the 17-point halftime advantage. SJU also enjoyed a 43-30 edge on the glass, which led to an 18-7 edge in second-chance points.

GW will complete its home-and-home series against Charlotte with a visit to Halton Arena on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Colonials defeated the 49ers, 60-52, at Smith Center on Jan. 21.