Freshmen Key GW Men's Hoops Victory at James Madison, 54-53
Garino, McDonald, Larsen Spur Late 7-2 Run for Colonials' Second Road Victory
Nov. 28, 2012
COACH LONERGAN POST-GAME at JAMES MADISON
HARRISONBURG, Va. - Freshmen Patricio Garino, Joe McDonald and Kevin Larsen made key plays down the stretch as GW men's basketball edged James Madison, 54-53, at the JMU Convocation Center on Wednesday night.
GW (3-3) trailed 48-47 with 3:12 to play before its rookie trio spearheaded a game-clinching 7-2 run to avenge last year's 62-57 home loss to JMU (1-5) and improve to 7-2 in the all-time series.
McDonald drove in for a left-handed bank shot over two defenders to put the Colonials ahead for good at 49-48 with 2:41 to play. That marked the last of the game's 11 lead changes that went along with seven ties in a back-and-forth contest.
Senior Lasan Kromah rebounded a Dukes' miss, then found Garino for an open three-pointer to match the Colonials' largest lead of the night at 52-48 with 2:09 left. JMU's Andre Nation, who led all scorers with 19 points, answered nine seconds later to make it a one-possession game.
Neither team could find a field goal from that point, as GW missed four shots and JMU two, including senior Isaiah Armwood's rejection of Aloune Diouf's game-tying attempt with 7.2 seconds remaining. The Dukes retained possession on the block, but Garino picked off the inbounds pass and was fouled on his way to the basket with 3.6 seconds left. Garino calmly buried both foul shots for a 54-50 lead, and Nation's buzzer-beating bank-in three-pointer as time expired proved inconsequential in the 54-53 final margin.
McDonald and Larsen finished with a team-high 12 points, with Larsen adding a game-high nine rebounds. Kromah finished with 10 points for his third straight double-digit outing, and matched Garino with a game-high five assists. Garino chipped in nine points, all within the game's final 10:46, and team-high four steals.
GW trailed throughout much of the first half before a late 10-0 run gave the visitors their first lead of the night at 24-22. The Colonials benefited from a switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense and made four straight shots to grab the lead with 1:36 left in the half. However, Ron Curry beat the halftime buzzer with a fadeaway 14-foot jumper in the lane to pull JMU even at 24-24 at intermission.
Both teams made 21 field goals as GW shot 38.2 percent (21-55) and JMU shot 40.4 percent (21-52). The Dukes hit four triples compared to the Colonials' three, but Garino's late free throws proved to be the deciding points.
GW next plays in the 18th annual BB&T Classic on Sunday, Dec. 2 against Manhattan College at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington. That game will be televised regionally on MASN as well as Fox Sports Regional networks, and can also be heard live on FederalNewsRadio.com, RaiseHigh.tv and 1500/820 AM.
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