GW Men's Hoops Battles Back, but Falls at VCU, 92-75
Four Colonials Score in Double Figures, Larsen Posts Third Double-Double
Feb. 12, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. - GW men's basketball shot 73 percent in the second half to fight back into the game, but ultimately dropped a 92-75 decision at VCU on Wednesday night.
GW (19-5, 7-3) trailed by as much as 21 in the first half and 45-28 at halftime, but battled to within 59-54 with less than 10 minutes to play before VCU (20-5, 8-2) pulled away late for its 18th consecutive victory at the Siegel Center.
Senior Isaiah Armwood and graduate student Maurice Creek both netted 17 points to lead the Colonials, with Creek hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 16 points to help spark the second-half rally. Sophomore Patricio Garino had 16 points and five assists, and classmate Kevin Larsen recorded his third double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
It was a tale of two halves for GW as it shot 34.5 percent, including 0-for-8 behind the arc, and turned the ball over 14 times in the first half, which VCU turned into eight 3-pointers and 23 points to build a sizable first-half advantage.
The Colonials were able to manage the pressure in the second half, converting 19-of-26 field goals, including 6-of-10 threes, but the Rams continued their strong shooting at 13-of-24 from the floor and 5-of-11 from deep to thwart each comeback attempt.
GW trailed 52-32 with 17 minutes remaining before embarking on a 22-7 run that trimmed the deficit to 59-54 with 9:19 left. The Colonials hit five of their six 3-pointers during the stretch, including three of Creek's four triples on the night.
The Rams answered with a 14-3 run in just over two minutes, sparked by three of their 13 three-pointers in the contest, for a 16-point margin, 73-57, with 7:02 to play. GW fought back within single-digits three more times, the last on a deep Creek triple at the 3:25 mark, but VCU closed the door with a 13-2 run to split the regular-season series after GW won, 76-66, in the district on Jan. 14.
Treveon Graham recorded a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double and added five assists to pace VCU. Melvin Johnson scored 21 points in 26 minutes off the bench, Rob Brandenburg added 15 points and Juvonte Reddic chipped in 10 points and seven boards. Briante Weber, the nation's steals leader, had seven thefts that helped the Rams post a 29-13 edge in points off turnovers.
GW finished at 52.7 percent from the field for its first loss this season when shooting at least 45 percent (15-1). The Colonials were outrebounded (36-34) for just the fifth time this season despite 27 combined boards from Larsen, Armwood (seven) and sophomore Joe McDonald (seven).
GW puts its 13-game home win streak on the line on Saturday against Massachusetts. The 2 p.m. game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, SNY and RaiseHigh Live, and is the finale of a Saturday doubleheader at the Charles E. Smith Center with GW women's basketball hosting UMass at 11 a.m.