McDonald's Game-Winner Lifts GW Men's Hoops at Rhode Island, 66-65
Freshmen Key Late Rally as Colonials Win Second Straight A-10 Road Game
Jan. 23, 2013
KINGSTON, R.I. - Freshman Joe McDonald's 15-foot baseline jumper with 9.3 seconds left proved to be the game-winner as George Washington men's basketball edged Rhode Island, 66-65, at the Ryan Center on Wednesday night.
McDonald, who scored 11 of his 12 points over the final 10:21 of the game, provided the 20th and final lead change of the night after the Colonials called timeout trailing 65-64 with 28.4 seconds left. After his initial drive was halted, McDonald regained possession on the right wing, drove to the baseline and swished a pull-up jumpshot over an outstretched defender with 9.3 seconds remaining.
Rhode Island (6-11, 1-3 A-10) called timeout with 3.8 seconds left after senior Isaiah Armwood blocked a game-winning attempt out of bounds. The Rams had two more shots to win, but Xavier Munford's three-pointer missed and freshman Kevin Larsen denied a tip-in attempt at the buzzer to give the Colonials their second A-10 road victory in four days following a 79-76 win at Massachusetts on Saturday.
GW (9-9, 3-2 A-10) also received double-digit efforts from Armwood (13 points) and Larsen, who scored all of his 10 points in the second half. Freshman Patricio Garino chipped in eight points and a game-high eight rebounds, junior Nemanja Mikic had eight points off the bench in the first half, and senior Bryan Bynes added six points and five assists in 30 minutes in reserve.
The contest also featured 19 ties and neither team led by more than five points in the back-and-forth battle. The largest lead of the night came from URI after a Mike Powell three-pointer and Andre Malone jumper gave the hosts a 61-56 advantage with 5:01 remaining.
The Colonials closed on a 10-4 run, ignited by an Armwood layup and completed by rookies McDonald and Larsen. McDonald buried his second three-pointer to knot the game at 61-61 with 3:08 to play, then Larsen hit a 12-foot jumper in the lane for a 63-61 lead. The Rams again tied the game on a Powell layup, and went ahead 65-64 on a Munford drive with 37.6 seconds left, but McDonald responded with the clutch game-winner.
Munford led the Rams with 20 points, followed by 16 from Nikola Malesevic and 14 from Malone.
It marked the 10th game decided by single-digits this season for GW, which improved to 4-6 in those games. The victory also moves second-year head coach Mike Lonergan within four of 400 career victories (396-186).
GW plays four of its next six games at the Charles E. Smith Center, starting with a home matchup against Charlotte this Saturday. The contest will be televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus, will be streamed live on RaiseHigh.tv, and broadcast live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.