GW Men's Hoops Fights, Falls to UMass, 77-72, in A-10 Championship
March 15, 2013
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - George Washington men's basketball bowed out of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship first round on Thursday with a 77-72 loss to Massachusetts at the Barclays Center.
GW, which started four freshmen for the 17th time in its last 18 games, concludes its season at 13-17 under second-year head coach Mike Lonergan. Four Colonials reached double-figures, led by rookie Kevin Larsen's game- and career-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Isaiah Armwood provided his ninth double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 boards, Lasan Kromah scored 11 points in 31 minutes off the bench, and freshman Joe McDonald added 10 points and a game-high four steals.
It was a fitting contest between the two most tenured programs in A-10 Championship history, with GW making its 35th appearance and UMass its 37th. Neither team led by more than five points in an exciting back-and-forth contest that featured 19 lead changes and 14 ties, including 14 lead changes in the second half.
The Colonials grabbed a season-high 50 rebounds, which were four shy of the A-10 Championship mark set by Temple in 1996, and held a +18 rebounding edge. GW shot just 38.8 percent from the field though, including an 0-for-8 effort behind the arc, to negate the advantage on the boards.
GW matched its largest lead at 66-61 with 3:53 to play, and Larsen capped a personal 6-0 run to give GW a 68-64 advantage with 2:43 remaining.
UMass' First Team All-Atlantic 10 point guard Chaz Williams led a late charge. He assisted Trey Davis' third three-pointer of the game to close the gap to a point, then scored a trio of driving layups to offset clutch baskets by GW's Lasan Kromah and Joe McDonald and lead the sixth-seeded Minutemen to Friday's quarterfinals against No. 3 seed Temple.
Williams led UMass with 16 points, eight assists and three steals, including a theft of freshman Patricio Garino before he could hoist a potential game-tying three-point attempt with five seconds remaining. Terrell Vinson and Davis both chipped in 14 points, while Raphiael Putney tallied 12, all in the first half. The backcourt duo of Williams and Davis netted 12 points each in the second half to help lessen the impact of forwards Vinson and Cady Lalanne fouling out.
GW was solid from the foul line, converting 20-of-24 attempts, including 13-of-15 in the first half to help compensate for 27 percent shooting from the floor to trail 34-31 at halftime. The Colonials warmed to 52 percent in the second half, but it wasn't enough to fend off the late-charging Williams and the Minutemen.
Garino finished with two steals to increase his single-season freshman steals record to 68, while Armwood had a block to close his first season at GW with 68 rejections, the second-most in a season in program history.