GW Men's Hoops Clinches A-10 Bid, but Falls to La Salle, 60-56
Feb. 29, 2012
Tony Taylor Senior Tribute Video - GW All-Access | YouTube
WASHINGTON - George Washington men's basketball scored nine straight points to close within a point of La Salle with 21 seconds to play, but the Colonials couldn't find the go-ahead basket in a 60-56 loss to the Explorers on Senior Night at Charles E. Smith Center on Wednesday.
Despite the loss, GW (10-19, 5-10 A-10) clinched a spot in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship by virtue of Fordham's 78-58 loss at Rhode Island.
Senior Tony Taylor, playing the final home game of his illustrious GW career, had a potential game-tying, acrobatic layup trickle off the front of the rim with nine seconds left with the Colonials trailing 58-56.
GW had another possession to tie trailing 59-56 with 2.2 seconds to play, but a full-court inbounds pass went out of bounds and La Salle tacked on an insurance free throw to complete a season sweep of the two-game series. The Explorers posted a 78-63 victory over the Colonials in Philadelphia on Jan. 25.
Junior David Pellom became the first GW player in at least two decades to post four consecutive double-doubles with a 16-point, 11-rebound effort on 7-of-9 shooting. Senior Aaron Ware made 5-of-7 shots to reach double figures with 10 points in his final home game, while junior Lasan Kromah also added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench.
Taylor dished out a game-high seven assists, including five in the second half, but was limited to six points on 2-of-11 shooting against La Salle's hedging, switching defense. Graduate student Jabari Edwards had a block in his final home game to increase his career blocks total to 112, good for sixth all-time in program history. Senior walk-on Michael Conward made the first start of his career and played the opening three minutes in his home finale.
La Salle (19-11, 8-7 A-10) got all but one of its 60 points from its starting lineup, led by Jerrell Wright's 15 points. Earl Pettis chipped in 14 points, Tyreek Duren netted 12, and Sam Mills and Ramon Galloway had nine apiece for the Explorers.
GW trailed 29-24 at halftime, but used a Pellom-led 20-7 rebounding advantage in the second half and the court presence of Taylor to claw its way back into the contest.
A pair of Duren free throws with 3:17 to play gave La Salle a 57-47 lead. Pellom answered with a tip-in to cut the deficit to single digits, then Taylor took control. He assisted a Kromah three and Pellom lay-in, stole the ball from Duren and hit a driving layup with 21.6 seconds left to close within 57-56. His potential overtime-forcing drive crept off the iron though and the Explorers iced the game with two foul shots.
The Colonials are tied with the Charlotte 49ers (13-15, 5-10 A-10) for 11th in the league standings, and can be the No. 11 seed, regardless of their result at Dayton, with a Charlotte loss at Xavier on the final day of the regular season on Saturday.
The contest at Dayton will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network at 12 p.m., and can also be heard live on GW All-Access, FederalNewsRadio.com, and 1500/820 AM.