(Photo courtesy of Ryan Landry)
FOGGY BOTTOM – George Washington, who has now lost three games in a row and has had their top four hopes all but extinguished, came out flat against Duquesne on Saturday afternoon and was never able to make it competitive, losing 93-67.
Duquesne dominated GW with their three point shooting. The Dukes went 17-32 from deep at a 53.1% clip. Reserve sophomore guard Quincy McGriff led the three point onslaught, shooting 5-8. He ended with 17 points on the night. Junior guard Dae Dae Grant and grad guard Tevin Brewer were close behind, each going 3-5 on three’s. Grant was the game’s leading scorer with 18.
“I could see on film that this was going to be a problem,” said GW Head Coach Chris Caputo. “When you see the quickness of guys like [Tre] Clark, Grant, [Kareem] Rozier, it’s very hard for us with that level of quickness in the backcourt with the makeup of our team.”
The game became out of reach for GW when Duquesne went on a 28-0 run over 9:53 in the first half. Duquesne got out to their largest lead of the day early in the second half, going up 37 points with a 64-27 lead.
“I called two timeouts to try to help, I didn’t think we were playing with the type of force needed to play against that level of pressure.” said Caputo when asked about what he tried to do to get his team out of the hole during the Dukes’ first half run.
This was the second time this season when GW has given up a similarly lopsided run. Against Saint Louis on Jan. 14, they gave up a 25-0 run on their way to losing 81-74.
GW also struggled holding onto the ball, committing 18 turnovers on the day, with 13 of those coming in the first half.
“We just didn’t execute. We let their pressure get to us, a little too casual with the ball at some points,” said senior center Hunter Dean. “When they go on a huge run, it’s hard to come back from that.”
Duquesne came out early blitzing GW ball handlers and trying to wreak havoc in the passing lanes. Pressuring GW on the ball has been an especially effective strategy for opponents. With the only true guards on the roster being senior James Bishop and grad Brendan Adams, it can be often difficult for them to move the ball forward and initiate offense when faced with pressure like they saw against Duquesne.
Health has been a constant question for GW ever since E.J. Clark went down during the Diamond Head Classic in December. With only eight scholarship players, Caputo is struggling to balance keeping his players fresh, while also making sure they’re fully prepared for their opponents. Before facing Duquesne, Caputo gave his players some time off from practice.
“Now I’m trying to protect the eight guys’ legs, I know you can’t play good if you don’t practice, I know you can’t play good if you get crushed in practice,” said Caputo. “We’re going to practice Monday to see what that looks like.”
One bright spot for GW was Adams, who scored his 1000th career point. In his second year with the program, Adams is having a career year. He is averaging 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and shooting 37.7 from deep.
GW is currently 5-5 in A-10 play and sits in 7th place.
GW will take the court again on Wednesday at 7:00 when they host Richmond. This will be the first time this season that GW will see an opponent for the second time. On Jan. 4, Richmond beat GW 73-63 behind 26 points from star Tyler Burton. Wednesday’s game can be watched on ESPN+ and listened to on WRGW.