Offensive rebounds propelled George Washington to a lead Thursday night against Bradley. When Lasan Kromah retrieved the 21st of the night for the Colonials with one second left, he had a chance to win the game but not much time. His hot-potato shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim, and Bradley got a 67-66 come-from-behind victory before 1,933 at Smith Center.
GW (4-6) had a chance to get back to .500 under first-year coach Mike Lonergan. But the Colonials were done in by guard Walt Lemon, who scored a game-high 22 points and hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left.
"It was a good effort," Lonergan said. "We just struggled to keep their best players from scoring."
It was the fifth straight loss for GW, which was without forward David Pellom, GW's top scorer in a loss Saturday at Syracuse. Pellom was serving a one-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.
"That's a game we should win at home," Lonergan said. "There's too many distractions in and around the program. We gotta get these guys focused on academics and basketball."
Led by Kromah (10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), Aaron Ware (13 points), and freshman forward John Kopriva (12 points on 6-for-6 shooting), GW turned an eight-point deficit midway through the first half into an eight-point lead midway through the second half.
But Bradley forward Taylor Brown (15 points, seven rebounds) ignited a comeback with a 3-pointer. Lemon hit another with 4:57 left. The Braves finished 8-for-16 from beyond the arc, while GW hit just two of 10.
The Colonials had a chance to win it after guard Bryan Bynes forced a turnover on an inbounds play with 21 seconds left. GW called a timeout to set up guard Tony Taylor (11 points, three steals). But he had to force a rushed shot in the lane that was blocked. Kromah collected the rebound but couldn't convert.
"I thought we were in good position," Lonergan said. "We did not execute the play, did not screen for Tony. He was forced to take a tough, tough shot."