- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2009

It didn’t take much time - probably about as long as Providence needed to make four straight 3-pointers in the opening minutes - for George Washington to consider what sort of night it might be in for Wednesday.

Even then, there was no way to know the absurdity of what was about to unfold.

Spurred on with unconscious perimeter shooting, the Friars outlasted the Colonials 110-97 at Smith Center on a night when fast-paced didn’t come close to encapsulating the frenetic play.

Providence (7-3) shot 16-for-29 from 3-point range, setting building records for an opponent in both points and 3-pointers made.

“I had an idea, but I didn’t know it was going to be like that,” GW forward Damian Hollis said. “I didn’t know they were going to shoot the amazing percentage they did. I don’t know what they shot, but it was just ridiculous.”

The Colonials (6-2) allowed their most points since a 112-90 loss to Rutgers in 1977. While their defense struggled to adequately cover the outside and their free throw shooting was lacking at times, the evening was much more about the visitors from the Big East.

“It was a game that was lost to a better basketball team,” GW coach Karl Hobbs said. “It’s real simple.”

Lasan Kromah scored 22 points and Hollis added 21 for GW, which could never put a severe dent in Providence’s 12-point halftime lead.

That edge was built upon a surge just before halftime in an attempt to shrug off the pesky Colonials, who nearly matched Providence shot for shot for about 15 minutes.

Trouble was, the Friars’ shooting neutralized GW’s greatest weapon - pressure defense that exploited a deep rotation. The best way around it is to connect from long distance with consistency, which was little trouble for Providence.

“That’s what they do best,” Hobbs said. “We made some adjustments, and I thought they adjusted very well. I just can’t say enough about their basketball team. They were fun to watch.”

Perhaps it helped that despite the deficiency on defense, neither team was sloppy. GW committed just nine turnovers - half as many as it did three days earlier against Navy. Providence, meanwhile, got a career-high 13 assists from guard Sharaud Curry.

It was the most points the Friars scored in a road game since a 120-60 rout of American-Puerto Rico in 1999.

“[Scoring] 110 is a great recruiting pitch,” said Providence coach Keno Davis, who is in his second season. “And I think I’ll be using it tomorrow.”

For as impressive as the Friars were, it wasn’t a remotely bad performance for the Colonials. Their offense ran smoother than it did in Sunday’s victory, and they were able to force Providence to abandon its preferred pressure defense simply by scrambling past it with regularity. Both were encouraging signs for a team already more than halfway to last year’s victory total.

Trouble was, GW had two players with dominant performances. Providence had a lot more.

“Each guy had an outstanding game,” Hobbs said. “The encouraging part for us [was] they needed to have an outstanding game tonight to win. We just needed for two guys to not play so well. But I think it’s a great deal of credit for them. When you look at our team, I’m so excited about our team. I’m just hoping that we can continue to play the way we played today.”

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