BY MAX GREENHALGH
The men’s team team lost a heartbreaker against crosstown rival American on a buzzer-beating fadeaway jumper by the Eagles’ Sa’eed Nelson on Tuesday. With a final score of 67-65, American handed GW its second loss of the season, and its first at home.
Nelson led his team with 20 points and added five steals. Jacob Boonyasith and Stacy Beckton Jr. both pitched in with 13 points for the Eagles, with Beckton Jr. playing a vital role with seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Colonials were led by Arnaldo Toro, who notched 20 points and 24 rebounds, 13 of which came on the offensive glass. After a rough first half with eight turnovers and two points, Colonials guard Jameer Nelson Jr. had a much stronger second half, finishing the game with 13 points and eight rebounds. Other key players for the Colonials included Jamison Battle hitting four three-pointers and Justin Mazzula coming off the bench to score 11 points on perfect shooting from the field.
The game was a sloppy one, especially early on. The Colonials turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, while the Eagles allowed eight of their shots on the other end to be blocked.
Cold shooting was a problem for both teams early on, with a combined halftime percentage of 22.5% from three for the teams.
However, after hot hands picked up, coaches Jamion Christian (GWU) and Mike Brennon (American) had to throw additional wrenches into the plans of their opponents. Christian put larger defenders such as Mezie Offerum and Javier Langarcia on opposing guards as they heated up from the field, and AU’s Brennon sporadically changed his defense into a 2-3 zone to throw off GW’s offensive rhythm.
Overall, it was a tightly contested affair that can be taken as a heavy learning experience for a young Colonial team with considerable raw talent.