The Tigers took another body blow last night, losing 70-61 to the Colonials of GWU in the nation’s capital. The Colonials made the visit as uncomfortable for the Tigers as a grilling by the House Intelligence Committee without the ability to invoke attorney-client privilege! The game was dominated by the home teams’ much taller front court and by the tremendous quickness of guard Jair Bolden, who lead all scorers with 27 points.
Colonial dominance on the glass and at the free throw line explains this one. GW grabbed 37 rebounds, including 18 offensive caroms, while canning 16 free throws to just three for the Tigers. Overall, the Tigers outshot the home team, 49 to 45 percent. From beyond the arc the Tigers were even better, making nine of 16 trey attempts.
The first half was very much a seesaw affair, as the Tiger defense, opening the game on fresh legs proved very difficult to overcome. At the break, the Colonials had a narrow 31-28 lead. The Tigers left the court knowing they had a good shot to grab a win on the road.
The second half continued the back-and-forth of the first. Three minutes in, a Devin Cannady three pointer gave the Tigers the lead at 34-33. Sadly, it would be the Tigers’ last for the evening. With 13:42 remaining the Tigers trailed by just one at 42-41. From that point on the Colonial height advantage began to wear down the spunky Tigers. Less than two minutes later, the lead was eight. The Princeton offense managed to generate just 12 points over the next 10 minutes while the Colonials expanded the lead to as much as 13.
Devin Cannady had another huge night for the Tigers scoring 23 points. His three three-pointers moves him to sixth on the all-time career list, just past Dan Mavraides ’11. Next on the list is Spencer Weisz ’17 who is in fifth place with 209, 42 ahead of Cannady.
Myles Stephens canned 13 points but appeared somewhat out of sync at times, opting for more one-on-ones than is appropriate for an offense trying to figure things out. Freshmen Sebastian Much (nine points in 27 minutes), Jerome Desrosiers (nine points in 19 minutes) and Ryan Schwieger (three points in 16 minutes) continue to draw a lot of attention from coach Mitch Henderson. Strangely, Amir Bell failed to score in 32 minutes of action.
At 2-6, the Tigers continue the search for a reliable rotation. Henderson may be questioning the wisdom of exposing his young team to such a daunting out-of-conference schedule to start the season. The risk is that losing can be a terrible morale killer, especially for young players accustomed to being the focus of winning high school programs. They need to turn the corner, and they need to do it soon.
The Tigers’ last home game for 2017 is on Tues., Dec. 12, against a very tough Monmouth quintet. Last year the Hawks outlasted the Tigers in a 96-90 thriller up in Long Branch, a game Henderson regards as the turning point in the historic season. The Tigers won their next 19.
With the Ivy opener at The Palestra looming in less than a month the Tigers must get down to business. They close out the year with a road trip to California (Cal Poly and USC) and another to Honolulu for a Christmas tournament.
According to Ken Pomeroy’s analysis, no Ivy team ranks among the nation’s top 100. The Ivy leader is Yale (115), followed by Penn (143), Harvard (155) and Princeton (158).
Thank goodness for the Ivy League Tournament.