Pellom Propels GW Men's Hoops to 56-51 Win Over Duquesne
Feb. 25, 2012
WASHINGTON - Junior David Pellom hit two key late free throws to record his third straight double-double and lift George Washington men's basketball to a 56-51 victory over Duquesne at Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday.
In what became a virtual must-win game for GW (10-18, 5-9 A-10) following victories by both Fordham (10-17, 3-11 A-10) and Rhode Island (6-23, 3-11 A-10) on Saturday, the Colonials surrendered their fewest points since the season opener and enjoyed their biggest rebounding margin of the season to remain in control of their quest for an Atlantic 10 Championship bid. The Colonials hold a two-game lead on both Rams' programs for the 12th and final A-10 bid with two league games remaining.
The victory snapped a four-game losing skid to Duquesne (15-13, 6-8 A-10), which has now lost three straight overall, and gives GW a chance to finish .500 at Smith Center this season (6-7) entering its final home game against La Salle on Senior Night on Wednesday.
Pellom, who had back-to-back 12-point, 11-rebound double-doubles in GW's two previous games, finished with 11 points and 10 boards to become the first GW player to record three straight double-doubles since Damian Hollis in January 2008.
GW led throughout much of the contest, but Duquesne drew even for the eighth time at 46-46 with 3:31 remaining. Senior Tony Taylor, who finished with seven points and four assists, hit a tough 16-foot jumper over B.J. Monteiro on the next possession, then found sophomore Nemanja Mikic for the Colonials' lone three-pointer of the game and a 51-46 lead with 2:06 to play.
Monteiro hit two free throws, then had a chance at a three-point play that would have tied the game a ninth time with less than a minute to play, but he missed the bonus foul shot, as well as a go-ahead attempt with 41 seconds left, to leave GW ahead 51-50.
Taylor made a front-end free throw with 28 seconds left for a two-point lead, then Pellom rebounded Taylor's back-end miss and converted a critical pair at the line for a 54-50 advantage with 27 seconds showing.
Duquesne's Mike Talley again made it a one-possession game with a free throw with 20 seconds left, and the Dukes' full-court pressure forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds. However, Pellom swatted away Sean Johnson's driving layup and junior Bryan Bynes clinched the important victory with two foul shots with nine seconds to play.
Monteiro was the lone Duquesne player in double figures with 13 points. Kadeem Pantophlet scored nine points, and Johnson finished with eight points and team-high six rebounds. The Dukes were limited to 37.3 percent (19-of-51) from the field, including 4-of-12 from behind the arc, and made just 9-of-17 free throws.
GW converted nearly 44 percent (21-of-48) of its shots despite going 1-of-12 from three-point range. The Colonials held a 16-7 edge in second-chance points, as well as a 20-10 edge in points off turnovers after the Dukes used a 29-5 edge in the category in their victory last season.
GW was sparked early in the contest by graduate student Jabari Edwards and sophomore Dan Guest, who combined for nine points, four rebounds and four blocks in the first half. Kromah and Pellom picked up the slack in the latter part of the period with eight points apiece to help the Colonials close on an 11-4 run en route to a 31-24 advantage at halftime.
Edwards closed with five points and four blocks to climb past Omar Williams into sixth on GW's career blocked shots list with 111. Guest chipped in four points, four rebounds, two assists and a game-high three steals in 16 minutes off the bench.
Taylor, Edwards, Aaron Ware and Michael Conward will all be recognized in a Senior Night ceremony approximately 10 minutes prior to Wednesday's 7 p.m. tip-off against La Salle. The ceremony and game can be viewed live on GW All-Access and heard live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.