Well, the sky is falling on all the Chicken Littles over at GWHoops.com this morning. Actually, I haven't logged in over there yet, but I am guessing that there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth after the Colonials lost 86-67 to Providence last night. GW is now 4-1, but 0-1 against opponents whom you have heard of, except Dartmouth, which you know as the birthplace of "Animal House" and "The National Review," not the skip pass and the jump stop.
The Colonials played to their normal breakneck pace and led 41-40 at the half on the strength of 9-12 shooting from three-point range, but Dokun Akingbade and Regis Koundjia each picked up two fouls battling a deep, bulky, Friar frontcourt. Carl Elliott opened the second period with a trey, but picked up his second and third foul in the first two minutes. Rob Diggs missed some minutes due to a hard PC foul and freshman Damian Hollis continued to struggle. Despite getting doubled up on the boards, GW led 57-51 with 12:27 to play, thanks to strong contributions by reserves Noel Wilmore and Travis King. But the Friars front line asserted itself over the next four minutes to take a 68-60 lead, and, after Elliott fouled out at the 7:47 mark, GW never got closer than six.
It's a rare occasion that Karl Hobbs' team gets run off the court, but the combination of foul trouble and the minor injury to Diggs - who would return - left few options. The Colonials cooled off in the second half but still shot 12-24 from three. They forced 19 turnovers but gave up 15 and got outrebounded 48-23. Wilmore and King were superb off the bench (24 points and only two turnovers), but 0-5 from Diggs and Elliott's absence due to second half foul trouble put this one out of reach. GW won't see another team with this kind of size again this year, but they failed to exploit their significant advantage in the backcourt.
The best news of the day, outside the performance of King and Wilmore, was that Cheyenne Moore is expected to return this week and should be ready for the Virginia Tech game. Moore won't solve the problem of frontcourt size, but when he joins King and Wilmore coming off the bench, GW will be able to keep running and scoring without a pause. Keep the faith!