Bob Tallent didn't even blink last night as the Smith Center was transformed into something resembling a ward at nearby George Washington University hospital.
In the course of the 74-55 Eastern Eight basketball loss to Pittsburgh, two of Tallent's top three guards were injured; the other, Curt Jeffries, hadn't even dressed for GW's fifth straight loss. He has flu.
"It was by far the worst night I've ever been through," said the slightly shellshocked GW coach as he sat in the Colonials' training room talking about the loss to Pittsburgh but certainly thinking about the consequences of the injuries.
Leading scorer Wilbert Skipper dislocated his right shoulder in the first half and will miss a minimum of three weeks. Randy Davis, the club's third-leading scorer, was helped from the court in the latter stages of the second half with a sprained ankle. The extent of Davis' injury was not immediately known, but he will be on crutches at least the next few days, Tallent said.
"I've seen my share of injuries and freak things, but to watch two starters go down and have another one out sick, well, it was really depressing," added Tallent.
The Colonials, now 1-5 in the Eastern Eight and 4-11 overall, started last night's contest with recently resurgent Pittsburgh (9-7 overall, 4-2 in the conference) shorthanded because of Jeffries' illness.
"But we were in good spirits, had had some good practices and I thought we could give them a good game," said Tallent. "They're not a super team, but they do have one super player in Sam Clancy. I figured we could stay close and maybe do something at the end."
Through the first 10 minutes, despite the muscular Clancy's eight points and six rebounds, GW showed signs of giving the Panthers a real scrap in front of a crowd of 3,200. Trailing only 24-18, those signs diminished as Skipper went down with 9:23 remaining in the half.
Although steve Perry made two free throws to pull the Colonials within four points, GW never recovered. Led by eight points from Carlton Neverson and the rebounding of Clancy, Pitt scored 12 straight points as the Colonials suffered through nearly a 6-minute scoring drought.
Reserve Dan Sullivan finally came in to arouse the beleaguered Colonials and Oscar Wilmington scored five points to cut the Pitt lead to 42-31 with 22 seconds remaining before intermission. The Panthers, however, scored the last four points of the half to take a 46-31 lead into the second half.