George Washington basketball Coach Bob Tallent has been waiting for his team to put together two excellent halves all season.
Last night, his wait ended.
Led by Mike Samson's 32 points and helped by 28 Richmond trunovers, the Colonials blew the Spiders out of the Smith Center, 99-77, to the delight of 2,800 who braved the cold weather.
"We didn't get conservative in the second half," Tallent said. "We kept attacking their defense. As long as we do that, we're a pretty good team."
GW raised its record to 11-10 with its third straight win. Richmond had a three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 8-13.
"GW played a good game. Give them credit for it," said Richmond rookie Coach Lou Goetz. "But we're better than that. We just didn't come ready to play tonight. I wish I could say it was because it was the ninth game of a road trip or something. But it wasn't."
Richmond stayed close for about 10 minutes. Goetz is committed to a running, transition style in the mold of Duke Coach Bill Foster, for whom he worked nine years. The Spiders always look for the fast break.
Last night they broke themselves, turning their last lead, 20-18, into a 39-26 deficit over a six-minute span.
"They're committed to the running game, that's the way they play every night," Tallent pointed out. "Heck, they're shooting 51 percent for the season off it. They have to use the break."
It was GW that used the break last night. The Colonials took advantage of the Richmond turnovers and its 39 percent shooting and dominated the boards (44-39). They ran at every opportunity.
And when the fast break wasn't there Brian Magid was. He turned in one of his better shooting nights (seven of 12) to score 17 points. Four of his baskets were bombs from outside 20 feet.
Magid, Samson and center Mike Zagardo (14 points, 13 rebounds) were the keys during the first five minutes of the second half. The Colonials boosted a 43-32 halftime lead to 60-36, putting the game out of reach.
That lead enabled Tallent to play his bench. Included was Bob Lindsay, coming back from partially torn ligaments in his right knee.
Lindsay scored 12 points in 27 minutes and pleased Tallent with his mobility. "That's the best he's looked since the injury," the coach said. "I wanted to work on his mobility because I'd like to be able to use him at guard some."
The defeat was the worst of the season for Richmond. It was GW's second highest scoring total of the season. The Colonials made almost 53 ably by numerous layups.
Sophomore forward Mike Perry was Richmond's only player in double figures with 21 points. He pulled down 11 rebounds but also led his team with seven turnovers.
GW wha three straight road games, starting Wednesday at Duquesne. "That's why we had to have this one," Tallent said. "We're starting to come together now. At least it looks theat way."