George Washington's Troy Webster, who did a good job of containing West Virginia's high-scoring Greg Jones, missed a short base line jumper with a second to play in overtime and the Mountaineers escaped with a 61-59 victory in an Atlantic 10 game last night at Smith Center.
The Colonials (8-9, 1-5 in the conference) came back from an eight-point second half deficit and had a chance to win the game in regulation.
"We had to play better defense in the second half," said Webster, who held Jones (averaging 22.8 points per game) to one basket in the second half. "I got the job of stopping him (Jones). I did the best I could."
With Webster shadowing Jones (finished with 19), George Washington was able to get back in the game. The Colonials outscored the visitors, 21-8, at one point to take a 50-45 lead, with 5:37 left in regulation. But Jones, making five free throws, helped his team regain the lead at 53-50, with 1:29 to play.
George Washington guard Dave Hobel, who sank a one-hander from beyond the three-point arc to tie the game at 53 with 55 seconds left, also had a chance to win the game.
After Lester Rowe threw a bad pass over Jones' head, the Colonials were in position to score an upset. West Virginia's tight defense shut off Webster and Mike Brown inside and Hobel drove the base line and put up a short, off-balance attempt from 10-feet away. The ball hit the side of the backboard and West Virginia's Tim Kearney grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Both teams exchanged baskets until Rowe, guarded well all night by Darryl Webster, got a nice pass from Russel Todd and sank a layup. He was fouled by Brown and made the free throw to give his team a one-point advantage, 60-59, with 1:25 left in the extra session.
GW's Craig Helms missed a 15-footer from the right side and Todd came away with the rebound. The Mountaineers (12-5, 4-2) played keep away until Dale Blaney was fouled with 17 seconds left. The guard made the first but missed the second, Darryl Webster getting the loose ball.
This time, the Colonials were able to get the ball to Troy Webster.
The freshman, who made a basket to beat American in the final seconds earlier in the year, got the shot he wanted but it didn't fall.
"I didn't realize how many seconds were left," said Webster, who finished with 12 points. "I took my best shot. It fell a little short."
Said George Washington Coach Gerry Gimelstob, "We wanted whoever was open to take the shot. We didn't want to call a timeout because they could set up a defense."
West Virginia Coach Gale Catlett said, "When we got up eight to 10 points, I thought it would be easy. But GW came back. If I had to devise a script, it would have ended like this.