Men's Basketball Succumbs to Rhode Island, 81-60
Defending league champion Rams shoot 53 percent from the field
WASHINGTON -- Hoping to stay above .500 overall and get back to a winning mark in conference play, the George Washington men's basketball team knew it had a tall task with preseason A-10 favorite Rhode Island in town on Saturday. The Rams came to Foggy Bottom atop the conference with an unblemished 2-0 record in the A-10 and at 10-3 overall, and will leave DC still perfect in the league. In an 81-60 Rams' win at the Charles E. Smith Center, the Colonials saw their season ledger dip to 8-8 while falling two games behind their front-running guests in the conference at 1-2.
Rhode Island took a quick 10-0 lead and extended to a 32-point edge at its largest early in the second half, as the Colonials' defense struggled to contain the Rams' experienced and savvy scorers. The visitors built a 46-23 halftime edge and showed the mettle that netted them last season's league title while connecting at a .581 clip, including 7-of-12 (.583) from three-point range, in the opening 20 minutes.
Yuta Watanabe paced GW with 17 points offensively on 7-of-10 shooting with a pair of triples in three attempts, and freshman Terry Nolan Jr. also found his way into double figures with 13 points of his own (6-of-7 FT), all in the second half. Grad student Bo Zeigler rounded out the Colonials reaching double digits with 10 on the afternoon on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor. Meanwhile for the Rams, Jared Terrell showed off his senior chops with an easy 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting that featured a sterling 4-of-5 performance from long range. Six-foot-8, 275 lb. senior Andre Berry had his way inside with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and All-10 Preseason First Teamer E.C. Matthews netted 12 on 6-of-11 shooting to give the Rams all the offense they would need.
While GW ultimately outscored the Rams in the second half, 37-35, the gap early in the period proved to be far too large to overcome, though the Colonials did connect at a 50 percent clip in the second stanza after shooting .333 in the first. By the time the game ended, all 13 Colonials saw minutes, with walk-ons Jack Granger and Luke Sasser making their Colonials' debuts. Granger, a 5-foot-7 former three-year manager for the program, put his name in the all-time books by grabbing his first career rebound in his two minutes of action.
The road for GW now takes them away from home for the majority of January's slate with four of the next five games being away. Back-to-back road games now ensue first at Davidson on Wednesday night at 7pm followed by a trip down 95 South to Richmond for a Saturday date, a week from today, at 4:30pm on NBCSN. GW's next home game comes against Revolutionary Rival George Mason on Wednesday, January 17th at 7pm.
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