With less than 10 seconds on the clock, junior forward Javier Langarica gripped an offensive rebound and netted his first field goal of the game to propel men’s basketball over Boston University Wednesday.
The Colonials (4–5) traded the lead with the Terriers (3–6) 19 times throughout the contest but ended the game 64–63 in buzzer-beating fashion. Four Colonials finished the game scoring double-digits, including a team-high 17 points from freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr.
“I felt like for the first time really all season in the last three or four minutes, we were really so connected,” head coach Jamion Christian said. “And we needed to be that way and hopefully that can carry over. The tougher team always wins and I think we found a way to be a little bit tougher tonight.”
Junior guard Maceo Jack started the scoring for the squad in the first half, sinking his first triple of the night. He ended the game with 11 points, shooting 3-of-9 from deep and 3-of-9 from the field.
Senior Forward Arnaldo Toro made his return for the Colonials after missing four games with an injury. He earned a starting spot in the lineup, but foul trouble relegated the big man to the bench and prevented him from getting into a rhythm down low. He finished with two rebounds and two points.
Through 10 minutes, the Colonials and Terriers traded buckets and BU began to gain a small edge, leading by as many as five points before GW evened the score. The first frame saw five lead changes, and the Terriers held the lead for more than half of the time.
The squad entered halftime down seven points, shooting 34.4 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Terriers secured their lead in the paint, scoring 20 of their 35 points down low in the first frame.
Three minutes into the second half, BU expanded its lead to 10 points, causing GW to call a timeout. Out of the break, Toro picked up his fourth foul and Christian subbed senior guard Justin Williams in as a five, a position he seldom plays.
Christian said he decided to play Williams, who finished the game with two rebounds, two steals and five points, because he’s stepped up for the team on the court and continues to improve in every opportunity.
“He makes our team better every day, so anytime I get the chance to put him on the floor in some way, whether we’re out of position or not, I know our team’s going to be better for it,” Christian said.
GW procured eight steals in the second half to end the game with nine total steals, nearly double its 4.9 steal per game average. The Colonials also capitalized from their hard work on the defensive end, notching 19 points in the second half from BU turnovers.
Nelson Jr. said the encouragement from teammates to be aggressive on the defensive end helped him nab a team-leading four steals in the second half.
“My teammates are always encouraging me to get in the passing lanes and be aggressive on defense,” Nelson Jr. said.
With 10 minutes left to play, GW and BU battled in the lane and from the charity stripe, taking turns driving through traffic and shooting free throws to gain an edge. Tied at 54–54, the Colonials and Terriers had just less than seven minutes to decide the winner.
BU jumped ahead, going on a 12-0 run thanks to a six-point spurt from junior guard Javonte McCoy. The Terriers took their biggest lead of the game with just less than three minutes to play.
Senior forward Max Mahoney scored a team-leading 17 points for the Terriers and went 8-of-11 from the field. The Terriers forced seven Colonial turnovers, but the squad topped the opponent with 15 turnovers on the night.
Langarica broke BU’s streak, netting 1-of-2 free throws. He scored all three of his points under the two-minute mark.
The Colonials went to work to cut down the lead, ending the game on a 10–0 scoring run. Redshirt senior guard Armel Potter muscled through the paint to notch a layup, and freshman guard Jamison Battle sunk a baseline triple to bring the Colonials within three.
After being fouled on a drive, Potter stepped to the charity stripe and sunk two free throws, putting the Colonials within one. As the clock ticked down, Potter shot from deep but missed the jumper. Langarica ripped the offensive board and quickly launched the ball high off the glass and through the netting to give the Colonials the victory.
“That was just the icing on the cake for how we fought back in those last three minutes,” Nelson Jr. said.
The squad is back in action Saturday as it takes on Delaware. Tipoff is slated for 4 p.m.