GW Men's Hoops Comeback Bid Denied by James Madison, 62-57
Dec. 22, 2011
WASHINGTON - The George Washington men's basketball team nearly erased a 22-point second-half deficit, closing within 58-54 with less than three minutes to play, but four late James Madison free throws dealt the Colonials a 62-57 loss at Charles E. Smith Center on Thursday night.
Junior David Pellom made all nine of his field goals, including 18 points on 8-of-8 shooting in the second half, to finish with a career- and game-high-tying 22 points in 26 minutes off the bench. Senior Tony Taylor chipped in 12 points and junior Lasan Kromah added 10 points, a team-high seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal.
The loss is the sixth straight for GW (4-7), which fell to JMU for the first time in the teams' last five meetings and just the second time ever in the eight-game all-time series.
A.J. Davis scored 22 points and Humpty Hitchens added 17 for James Madison (6-3), which won for the fifth time in its last six outings. Davis tallied just five second half points and Hitchens failed to score after halftime after the duo netted 17 points apiece and combined to outscore GW, 34-24, over the opening 20 minutes. Davis and Hitchens coupled to make 12-of-15 field goals and 6-of-7 threes to spark the Dukes to 65 percent shooting and put the Colonials in a 44-24 deficit at halftime.
Sophomore Nemanja Mikic made the Colonials' lone triple of the opening stanza to give the hosts a brief 10-9 lead. The Dukes then ripped off a 35-14 run to end the period, with Davis and Hitchens combining for 27 of JMU's points during the spurt.
However, facing their largest deficit of the night at 55-33 with 13:46 left, the Colonials ramped up their defensive pressure - limiting the Dukes to 1-of-12 shooting and forcing seven turnovers the rest of the way - to battle their way back into the contest.
Pellom scored eight points during a 15-0 run that pulled GW within 55-48 with just over nine minutes left.
Julius Wells hit his only three of the night - JMU's lone field goal of the final 13-plus minutes - to silence the spurt and make it 58-46, but Pellom converted a three-point play and a two-handed dunk - both assisted by Kromah - to cap a 21-3 run that pulled GW within 58-54 at the 2:59 mark.
The Colonials would get no closer though as they turned the ball over on their next two possessions, and the Dukes converted 4-of-8 foul shots over the final 71 seconds to cement their first victory in four trips to Smith Center.
GW improved to 47 percent in the second half to finish at 41 percent from the field for the second straight contest, but once again struggled from beyond the arc (3-12) and at the foul line (8-17).
The Colonials also owned a +8 advantage in rebounds (35-27), including a +7 edge on the offensive glass (14-7) en route to a 17-3 margin in second-chance points.
GW returns to campus on Christmas night to prepare for its next game against UAB at Charles E. Smith Center on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the contest can be viewed and listened to live on GW All-Access, as well as heard on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1050 AM.
The GW/UAB game promotion is Parks and Recreation Night where youth athletic teams are invited to have their team parties at the Smith Center. Special ticket prices are available for groups of 10 or more.