Men's Basketball Falls Short at Rhode Island, 82-70
Cavanaugh leads GW with 21
KINGSTON, R.I. -- The George Washington men's basketball team entered Rhode Island's Ryan Center on Tuesday night as the winners of three straight to pull even at 4-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference and with a chance to move above .500 in conference play for the first time this season. After GW staged a dramatic rally in the teams' lone match-up last season with an 18-point comeback to win, this time around it was the Rams who needed to rally to win, albeit from much smaller a deficit. Despite holding a four-point halftime lead and a six-point lead early in the second half, GW saw Rhode Island claw back and take an 82-70 win.
Tyler Cavanaugh paced GW with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists, while also knocking down a pair of three-pointers, in a game in which 10 Colonials found the scoring column. Jaren Sina was the only one other than Cavanaugh in double figures, however, while the Rams had four tally double figures led by Hassan Martin's 23 points.
The Colonials led 39-35 half after a first half that saw them trail by as many eight at 27-19 before a 10-2 run tied the game at 29 all. Cavanaugh scored GW's first seven points but then got a lot of help from his teammates as the 10 GW student-athletes who saw time in the contest all scored before halftime. GW remained in control in the early minutes out of halftime as well and enjoyed its largest lead of the game at 44-38 after a Sina three-pointer early in the second half.
The Rams pulled even at 60 apiece courtesy of a Kuran Iverson three-pointer with 8:08 to play, and the teams traded baskets to enter the under-8:00 media timeout knotted at 62-62. A pair of free throws from freshman Arnaldo Toro gave GW its last lead at 64-62 before an EC Matthews triple gave Rhode Island its first lead of the second half with 7:00 to go. The combatants found themselves locked up again at 69 when a Cavanaugh three ball found its mark with 5:04 to play, but it was all Rhode Island from there as the home team closed on a 13-1 run.
Once again GW got strong scoring support from the bench as the reserves chipped in 25 compared to Rhode Island's 12, but the Rams were just two Matthews' points away from placing all five starters in double figures. While Matthews entered the game as the Rams' leading scorer at 15.4 points per game, the other four did the damage in this one. Behind Martin's 23, Jared Terrell notched 17, Iverson had 12 and Jeff Dowtin 10.
After a few days at home to prepare for a rematch with Richmond, GW heads South on I-95 to meet the Spiders on Saturday at 2:30 on NBCSN. GW enters Saturday's game at 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the A-10, looking to avenge an earlier loss to Richmond this season at home. Cavanaugh had 22 points and seven rebounds in the last meeting, while reigning A-10 Player of the week T.J. Cline double-doubled for the Spiders with 19 points and 11 boards.
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