WRGW SPORTS DIRECTOR
George Washington posted their highest margin of victory since 2006 in a dominating 94-50 victor over the Delaware State Hornets last Tuesday night. The victory extended the men’s winning to four games heading into the Wooden Legacy tournament in Orange County, California this weekend.
The highlight reel was loaded for the Colonials in this game, as they were able to net 10 3-pointers and throw down 9 thunder-jams against the Hornets. Senior forward Isiah Armwood was the game’s leading scorer, scoring 17 points while grabbing 5 rebounds. Sophomore Keith Woods and Freshman Tom Pierce had the call of a monster alley-oop slam by Armwood for WRGW Sports.
Newcomers Nick Griffin and Maurice Creek lead the way for the Colonials from deep as they were able to shoot a combined 7-7 from 3 point range. After the game Griffin described the tandem on twitter as the “#SplashBrothers”.
Six total players scored in double digits for the Colonials. Along with the three already mentioned, sophomores Patricio Garino, Kevin Larsen and Paris Maragkos rounded out the top scorers for GW.
After jumping out to a 54-19 lead at half, the Colonials were comfortably in the driver’s seat. In the second half, Head Coach Mike Lonergan was able to play a lot of his back of the bench players. Maragkos was able to score a career high 10 points and freshman Skyler White completed 2 free throws for his first career points as a Colonial.
The Hornets were lead by 15 points from center Kendall Gray and 11 points from Tyshawn Bell in an overall poor shooting effort for the team (17-51 FG).
The Colonials take their 4-0 record across the country to Southern California for their biggest test of the young season in the Wooden Legacy. They will play the reigning ACC champions and a Sweet 16 team in the Miami Hurricanes at 2 o’clock EST on Thanksgiving day. The rest of the Wooden Legacy field includes #25 Marquette, Arizona State, Creighton, San Diego State, College of Charleston and, host for the first two rounds of the tournament, California State Fullerton. After playing in Fullerton on Thursday and Friday, the final round of the tournament will be held on Sunday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Stay tuned to WRGW Sports for complete coverage of what should be a very exciting Wooden Legacy tournament. Be sure to follow @WRGWSports on Twitter for schedule updates and broadcast links. Senior Tim Riordan and Junior Mike Martenak will be covering all of the games live from Orange County on WRGW Sports – Colonials Radio Central.
Men’s Basketball Writer
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – After 37 minutes of back-and-forth basketball at the Barclays Center on Thursday night, it seemed as though George Washington was on the verge of pulling out another hard fought victory over the sixth seeded Massachusetts Minutemen in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship. However, over the final three minutes, the Colonials watched their season unravel right before their eyes as UMass used a 13-4 run to steal the win by a final score of 77-72.
GW had four scorers in double figures, including Isaiah Armwood, who secured his ninth and final double-double of the season with an impressive 16 points and 13 rebounds. Lasan Kromah finished with 11 points off the bench while Joe McDonald scored 10 points of his own. Yet, it was Kevin Larsen who led the team in scoring with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds.
However, it was Larsen’s travel in his own backcourt with 2:33 left that began the downward spiral for the Colonials, who, until that point, had been engaged in a tug-of-war with the Minutemen for control of the game. GW seemed to have taken control in the moments before, grabbing a five point lead with 3:53 remaining. However, the Minutemen stayed in it thanks to consecutive three-pointers by Trey Davis. Larsen’s turnover allowed UMass to gain possession and take the lead on a Chaz Williams’ with 2:24 to play.
The Colonials would fight back, briefly taking the lead on two occasions. However, UMass would respond immediately in both cases by exploiting GW’s fatigue that resulted in porous defense. Chaz Williams’ fastbreak layup with 1:18 left would give the Minutemen the lead for good, as the Colonials had, by that point, run out of gas and could not find an answer.
UMass finished with four players of their own in double figures, led by the aforementioned Williams, who scored 16 points to go along with eight assists and four rebounds. Trey Davis and Terrell Vinson added 14 points each and Raphiael Putney scored 12 in the win, which secured for them a meeting with third seeded Temple on Friday night.
As for GW, the Colonials’ season ended tonight in the most bitter way imaginable, as they let UMass escape with a win despite outplaying the Minutemen in most categories. GW outrebounded UMass 50-32, including 25-13 on the offensive glass. They outscored them in points in the paint and second chance points and even had a better free throw percentage than their opponents. However, their 0-8 line from beyond the arc and their 18 turnovers resulting in 14 UMass points stand out glaringly in a game that GW had every opportunity to win.
But instead, it is yet another close loss and a bitter ending to the season for a team whose 2012-13 campaign will undoubtedly be defined by missed opportunities. Look out on Sunday for a full recap of the Colonials’ season, featuring the highs and lows of yet another basketball season in Foggy Bottom.
Men’s Basketball Writer
WASHINGTON – Finally, a last second game went their way.
Isaiah Armwood’s put-back dunk off a missed Lasan Kromah layup with two seconds left gave GW a thrilling 81-80 win in overtime over Dayton on Senior Day, punching the Colonials’ ticket to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in the process with St. Bonaventure’s unexpected loss to Fordham.
The Colonials had five players in double-figures, led by freshman Joe McDonald, who posted 16 points on 7-11 shooting, including 2-2 from beyond the arc. Seniors Dwayne Smith and Bryan Bynes both started in their final game on Tex Silverman Court and combined for 28 points, with Smith scoring 15 and Bynes 13. Bynes was a surprise starter today after missing the past four games with a fractured right tibial plateau, but his added presence was felt from the start, as he produced both offensively and defensively, drawing constant matchups with Dayton’s high-powered guards Kevin Dillard and Vee Sanford.
Lasan Kromah added 12 points and five rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench for the Colonials while the aforementioned Isaiah Armwood contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.
The game itself was a roller coaster ride for GW, who led by as much as six and trailed by as much as 11 just in the first 10:51 of the first half. A fast start for the Colonials, spurred on by the unexpected return and energy of Bryan Bynes, gave way to a 19-2 Dayton run that put the Flyers ahead 21-10 with 9:09 left in the half. Dayton was able to hold that 11 point lead for the next four minutes before GW ended the half on a 17-6 run to tie the game at 33 heading into the locker room.
The Colonials managed to do an extremely good job of keeping themselves within striking distance in the second half, never trailing by more than six points, despite numerous attempts from the Flyers to pull away. Dayton had a chance to put the Colonials away with 7:05 to go and up five, but could not get the defensive stop they needed. This, combined with GW’s persistence driving to the rim and drawing fouls, allowed the Colonials to claw back into the game and eventually tie it with 4:33 left on a Kevin Larsen layup.
The game would go back and forth down the stretch, with Lasan Kromah knotting it up at 71 on an uncontested layup with 39 seconds left. After a crucial defensive stop, GW had a chance to win it with four seconds left. However, Bryan Bynes’ runner off the glass went in-and-out, sending a GW game into overtime for the first time since March 8, 2011.
Overtime only continued the tenseness of the affair, with Dayton seeming to have taken control of the game up four with 1:03 left and controlling possession of the ball. Yet, Dyshawn Pierre dribbled the ball off his foot and right into the hands of Joe McDonald, who laid it in to make a two-point game with 40 seconds left. On the ensuing inbound, Khari Price threw the ball away, right to Dwayne Smith who proceeded to get the floater to go, tying the game at 79.
Matt Derenbecker was able to draw a blocking foul on Smith and make one of his two free throws, giving Dayton an 80-79 lead with seven seconds left and providing a situation that, until today, had proven to be kryptonite for the team.
But that was not the case today, as Isaiah Armwood streaked through a wide open lane that Dayton’s bigs failed to box out and provided the put-back jam to give GW an 81-80 lead, sending the surprisingly large crowd into a frenzy.
Dayton still had one more chance to win the game, with Dyshawn Pierre getting the ball in the corner and draining a three-pointer at the buzzer. However, it was determined that Armwood, who had jumped to block the shot, caused Pierre to hesitate on the shot just long enough that he did not get the shot off before the buzzer, preserving the win for GW.
Dayton (17-13, 7-9 Atlantic 10), who had entered the game Saturday on a three-game winning streak and a stretch of five games in which they averaged over 80 points and shot better than 50 percent, did nothing to end that stretch today, as four players scored in double figures, including Pierre, who led the Flyers with 21 points on 8-9 shooting. Dayton’s leading scorer, Kevin Dillard, scored 20 points of his own but fouled out with 4:31 remaining in overtime, depriving Dayton of their best free throw shooter and closer down the stretch. Fellow guard Vee Sanford scored 18 points and Josh Benson scored 10 on a perfect 5-5 shooting.
Yet, the Flyers will undoubtedly leave Foggy Bottom with a bitter taste in their mouths as their Atlantic 10 Tournament hopes now hang in the balance while the Colonials (13-16, 7-9 Atlantic 10) ticket to Brooklyn is punched with St. Bonaventure’s unexpected home loss to Fordham this afternoon.
Furthermore, today’s effort from GW was a sign of that potential that everyone saw from this team at the start of the season. It was not always pretty, with a stat of 20-42 from the charity stripe likely to leave many Colonials fans shaking their heads. Yet, when the going got tough, it seemed as though GW had an answer, a far cry from their last nine games, seven of which ended in GW defeats.
The win gives them a ton of momentum that they will hope to build on entering the tournament. It is clear that the return of Bryan Bynes gives them a newfound confidence defensively, which will only help GW. Assuming that Patricio Garino will be able to go in the tournament opener, a questionable proposition according to head coach Mike Lonergan postgame, the Colonials will be in great shape defensively. If they can manage to get enough offense, it could make for an extremely interesting week in Brooklyn.
The Colonials will now await the rest of the results from the Atlantic 10 schedule to determine their seeding entering next week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. WRGW will have full coverage from Brooklyn starting with GW’s first game on Thursday, March 14th. The time of the game will be announced once the seeding for the tournament has been finalized.
Men’s Basketball Writer
PHILADELPHIA – The George Washington Colonials fell to the La Salle Explorers amidst a barrage of three-pointers for the second time this season, this time losing 84-70 at the Tom Gola Arena on Wednesday night.
GW allowed La Salle to hit 11 three-pointers in their first meeting on February 2nd, an 80-71 La Salle win at the Charles E. Smith Center. This time out, they allowed La Salle to convert on 12 of their 22 three-point attempts. This, combined with 16 turnovers and only one made three-pointer of their own sealed the Colonials’ fourth straight loss and seventh in their last nine games.
However, on offense, GW was pretty effective. They shot 55 percent as a team and grabbed 11 more rebounds than La Salle. Isaiah Armwood secured his eighth double-double of the season, leading the team with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Lasan Kromah added 15 points on 7-13 shooting in 23 minutes off the bench while Kethan Savage put together a solid effort with 12 points on 6-9 from the field. Kevin Larsen also had a solid, all-around performance with eight points, five rebounds, and six assists.
Yet, the Colonials were perpetually behind from the 15:36 mark of the first half after beginning the game in a back-and-forth tussle with the Explorers. After grabbing a 10-9 lead, GW would allow a 19-4 run over the next four minutes to put La Salle ahead for good. They surrendered 10 of La Salle’s 12 three-pointers in the first half alone and could not find an answer to stifle the Explorers’ precision from beyond the arc. By halftime, a Tyreek Duren buzzer beater put La Salle ahead by 10 at 47-37.
The Explorers would take further control of the game in the second half, keeping GW at bay and never letting them get closer than 12 at any point. Furthermore, La Salle’s effective, time consuming possessions toward the end of the half thwarted any chance of a late GW comeback.
Ramon Galloway scored 29 points on 11-17 shooting in his final game in front of the home fans at Tom Gola Arena. Tyreek Duren added 19 points while Jerrell Wright had 16 points and seven rebounds for a La Salle squad that shot 61 percent from the field as a team.
The defensive effort from the Colonials is certain to raise a number of red flags from fans as they head into Saturday’s win-or-go-home matchup with Dayton (17-12, 7-8 Atlantic 10) at the Smith Center. GW’s defense, which had been and still is a strength, was porous tonight as they did nothing to deter La Salle from getting any and every shot they wanted throughout the game. However, the Colonials have also proven that they can step up defensively at any given moment, causing problems for such formidable opponents as Kansas State, Temple, Butler, and Saint Louis.
GW (12-16, 6-9 Atlantic 10) will need their defense to step in a huge way on Saturday if they are to emerge with a win and a ticket punched to Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10 Tournament. As was alluded to before, Saturday’s contest is effectively the Colonials’ unofficial first game of the tournament, after Charlotte came back to steal a win in overtime over lowly Duquesne, moving them to 7-8. The Colonials now sit on the outside looking in, a game behind Charlotte, Dayton, Richmond, and St. Bonaventure who occupy spots nine through 12 and with no possible way of securing a bid to the postseason with a loss. The task is extremely simple and for Mike Lonergan’s crew, it will be all hands on deck in order to secure the required win. Otherwise, their drive to the Atlantic 10 Tournament, dubbed “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” within the university, will end in a premature slumber.
You can catch all the action of Saturday’s contest with Dayton beginning at 1:45 with tipoff at 2 p.m. on WRGW-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.