George Washington put on an embarrassing performance last night and St. Joseph's cruised to a 64-40 Atlantic 10 triumph before 2,349 unbelieving fans at Smith Center.
St. Joseph's outplayed George Washington in every way possible, including limiting the cold-shooting Colonials to 12 field goals, two of them coming during a disastrous 18-minute stretch of the second half.
"The best thing about this game is that it counts as only one loss," said George Washington Coach Gerry Gimelstob, staring at the statistical sheet. "It should count for 10 (losses). From a team standpoint, we haven't recovered from the Rutgers win (96-77). It was a big win for us and we haven't played well since."
"Since" was two games ago. George Washington was bad against Virginia in a 52-41 loss Monday night. Against St. Joseph's last night, the Colonials were simply pitiful.
George Washington (11-9 overall, 6-5 in the conference), which scored only two baskets in the final 11:30 against Virginia, made only two (both by Mike Brown) in this game's first 11:10. By the time Brown (11 points, eight rebounds) hit his third field goal, St. Joseph's (11-8, 7-4), hardly a scoring machine itself early, had assumed a 12-6 lead and was on its way to its sixth consecutive win.
Hawks forward Bob Lojewski found George Washington's defense much to his liking, burning the hosts for 17 of his 25 points in the first half to help St. Joseph's go up, 30-21.
The Colonials' first-half problems were eight-for-23 shooting from the floor, only seven rebounds and none by four of the starters, no defense against Lojewski or Maurice Martin (seven points) and a total lack of intensity.
"It was the worst basketball game I've every played in or seen," said George Washington guard Troy Webster, who had five points. "Nothing worked. We couldn't score, couldn't rebound, couldn't get any loose balls. Games like that get so frustrating, you lose interest."
If the Colonials' interest waned in the first 20 minutes, there's absolutely no way to describe the players' concentration, or lack of, in the final 20 minutes.
St. Joseph's patient, motion offense resulted in four inside baskets, two by Lojewski and one each by Martin and James Owens. A layup and two free throws by Owens gave the Hawks a commanding 44-26 lead with 10:41 left.
For George Washington, the first 10 minutes of the second half were a lesson in futility. Turnovers, missed shots and the inability to stop the Hawks had reached such a boiling point that guard Joe Dooley became so frustrated he bolted off the court and ran out of the gymnasium.
"I just got frustrated with myself," said the freshman guard, who was about to be replaced by Mike O'Reilly after committing a turnover and missing a shot badly. "I'm fine now."
Gimelstob said he hadn't spoken to Dooley about leaving the bench but would speak to him in private.
"His running off like that was indicative of just how frustrated the team was," Gimelstob said. "He just lost his emotions for a minute."
Dooley returned several minutes later but the Colonials were still looking for some semblance of an offense. It would not come tonight.
"We played good defense, I thought," said St. Joseph's Coach Jim Boyle. "In our last six games, no team has shot better than 40 per-cent so it was no coincidence GW shot badly (26 percent). Brown didn't play against us the first time (St. Joseph's won, 75-62) but we didn't make any changes to stop him. Lojewski shot the ball well, rebounded well and had his finest game of the year.