GW Men's Hoops Grinds Out 54-52 Win Over OVC Favorite Austin Peay
Nov. 22, 2011
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The George Washington men's basketball team overcame a sluggish offensive performance by holding Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite Austin Peay to 35 percent shooting for a hard-fought 54-52 victory in the Progressive CBE Classic's Bowling Green Subregional at Stroh Center on Tuesday night.
Seniors Aaron Ware and Tony Taylor led the Colonials with 12 and 11 points, respectively, while sophomore Nemanja Mikic added nine and graduate student Jabari Edwards equaled his career-high of eight points. Edwards has matched his career-high of eight points in three of four outings this season.
GW (3-1) finished at 39.6 percent from the field despite improving to 13-of-25 shooting (52 percent) in the second half.
The contest featured seven ties and six lead changes, most coming in a back-and-forth first half that saw Austin Peay (0-5) grab a 24-23 edge at the break.
Coming off its best shooting performance in 24 games in Monday's victory over Detroit, GW struggled on the offensive end in the first half, connecting on just 8-of-28 shots. The Colonials hit 4-of-8 three pointers in the opening period though and held APSU to just 29 percent shooting to trail by just one at halftime.
The Governors posted seven steals and forced eight turnovers that turned into 10 points on the offensive end over the opening 20 minutes. GW failed to find the open shots and execute in transition the way it did en route to a 17-point halftime lead over Detroit a night earlier.
Mikic made his third 3-pointer of the night just 18 seconds into the second half to give GW a lead, and the Colonials wouldn't trail the rest of the way. GW came out with renewed energy to begin the second half, using an 11-4 run to grab a 34-28 lead and forced an APSU timeout just 4:21 into the stanza.
The Governors battled throughout though as the Colonials never created more than eight points of separation and were tied at 40-40 on Will Triggs' three-point play with 10:20 remaining.
Back-to-back layups by junior Lasan Kromah and freshman John Kopriva, and a three-point play by Taylor sparked GW to a 48-42 edge with 7:17 left. Junior Bryan Bynes made it 50-43 with a pull-up 15-foot jumper at the 6:36 mark. Bynes led all players with seven rebounds.
APSU inched its way back behind a Justin Blake three-pointer and four points from Triggs to make it 54-50 with 2:46 to play. Josh Terry, who also reached double-digits for the Governors with 12 points, stuck back an unsecured rebound to make it a one-possession game at 54-52 with 1:58 to go.
Each team missed a three-point attempt and Bynes was short on a jumper that sparked a 3-on-1 transition fast break for the Governors with 20 seconds left.
However, Taylor's clutch steal of Anthony Campbell with 12 seconds left prevented the Governors from a sure layup.
Taylor was fouled and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 foul shot to give APSU a final chance to tie it at the buzzer, but TyShwan Edmondson, who led all players with 17 points, missed a running shot at the horn to lift the Colonials to their third win in four games to start the season.
GW will look to complete a sweep of its three games in Bowling Green when it faces the host Falcons at Stroh Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game can be listened to live on 1050 AM, FederalNewsRadio.com and GW All-Access beginning with Byron Kerr's pregame show at 7:15 p.m.