GW Men's Hoops Edged Late in 80-73 Loss to Youngstown State
Armwood, Garino Combine for 31 Points in Debuts for Colonials
Nov. 10, 2012
WASHINGTON - Senior Isaiah Armwood debuted with an alley-oop dunk in the opening seconds, then tied it at 71-71 with a slam with 58 seconds to play, but Youngstown State responded with a three-point point and pulled away late as George Washington men's basketball suffered an 80-73 setback in its season opener at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday.
The loss is just GW's 30th in 99 all-time season-opening games (69-30) and only its second in the past eight seasons.
Five newcomers debuted for GW (0-1) with Armwood scoring a team-high 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 8-of-12 free throws in his first game with the Buff and Blue. Freshman Patricio Garino keyed a second-half rally and finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in his first outing.
A seasoned Youngstown State (1-0) team with its top three scorers returning got a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double from freshman Bobby Hain. Senior Blake Allen made four three-pointers and matched Hain's game-high 19 points, while DJ Cole added 12, senior Damian Eargle scored 11 and Shawn Amiker chipped in 10. The Colonials managed to limit YSU senior Kendrick Perry, the leading scorer in the Horizon League last season, to just three points and 0-of-9 shooting from the field, but the Penguins relied on their balanced offense with five players in double figures.
Senior Lasan Kromah secured the opening tip and lobbed to Armwood for a season-opening alley-oop jam that brought the 2,198 fans in Smith Center to their feet. GW used that momentum to maintain a lead throughout much of the first half, capped by an Armwood three-point play that made it 28-23 with 6:03 left in the period.
However, Youngstown State went on a 20-4 run from that point, with Hain scoring 11 of his 19 points during the spurt, to surge to a 43-32 advantage at halftime.
The Colonials slowly worked their way back into the game and returned to within a possession of the lead at 52-50 on Kromah's controlled drive and reverse layup at the 11:40 mark. GW stayed within two possessions of YSU through to the final minutes.
With 2:40 to play, Allen drained his final triple of the game to give the Penguins a 71-65 lead. GW freshman Joe McDonald answered with a three-point play on a baseline reverse layin, sophomore John Kopriva made a free throw, then Kromah drove and dished to Armwood for a two-handed throwdown to draw even at 71-71 with 58 seconds left.
On the next possession though, Eargle converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound and YSU made 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to produce the 80-73 final.
Both teams made 11-of-24 shots (45.8 percent) in the second half, as YSU's 14-of-33 effort (42.4 percent) from the field and 12-of-17 performance (70.6 percent) at the line was a key factor in putting GW in a double-digit deficit. The Colonials shot just 36.4 percent (12-of-33) from the field and went to the stripe just seven times in the opening 20 minutes.
GW will take a week to prepare for its first road game of the 2012-13 season at Boston University on Saturday, Nov. 17. The game will be played at BU's Case Gym at 1:00 p.m., and will air locally on Comcast SportsNet, as well as NESN, and be broadcast on 1050 AM, FederalNewsRadio.com and RaiseHigh.tv.
The university's Boston Alumni Club is sponsoring a pre-game brunch at 11:00 a.m., in the Faculty Dining Room in the George Sherman Union (775 Commonwealth Avenue), just a short walk from Case Gym (285 Babcock Street). The brunch will feature remarks on the future of GW Athletics with Patrick Nero, director of athletics and recreation. The event is open to the entire GW community including alumni, parents, and friends of GW. Click here to register.