Men's Basketball Outshoots Temple, 71-67
Watanabe, Bolden score 17 apiece as GW shoots 60 percent from the floor
WASHINGTON -- At the site of the 2018 A-10 Championships in March, GW men's basketball took center stage at Capital One Arena in downtown D.C. and took down former A-10 rival Temple for the second consecutive season with a 71-67 victory on Sunday afternoon.
GW scorched the nets with 60 percent shooting from the floor including a .563 clip (9-of-16) from behind the three-point arc to even its record at 4-4 against one of the more challenging non-conference schedules in the country.
Sophomore Jair Bolden and senior Yuta Watanabe led the charge for the Colonials with a pair of 17-point outings. Bolden also had a team-high four assists and connected on a trio of triples, while the elder statesman Watanabe continued to state his case as the best two-way player in the A-10 with a pair of blocks and steals on the defensive end.
GW led by 15 at halftime and by as many as 17 early in the second half, and withstood a late Owls run to secure the victory. It was largely GW's ballgame throughout as the Colonials led for 36:15, and distanced themselves from the AAC team in most offensive statistics, out-rebounding the Owls 28-21 and sharing the ball better to the tune of 16 assists compared to Temple's 12.
In the first half, the Colonials quickly found their rhythm from distance as their first six made field goals came from long range. Bolden hit two of his three triples and Arnaldo Toro also connected on a pair as GW shot 68 percent in the opening half, with seven players contributing at least a bucket.
Temple made a run in the second half thanks to 7-for-15 shooting from three-point range, and would tie it up 59-59 with 6:34 left on a triple from Shizz Alston Jr. GW, though, hung tough and after another tie at 61-61, took back the lead for good on a Pat Steeves lay-in off a deft inbounds pass from Bolden. Moments later, Bolden buried a step-back three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to make it 69-64, and the Colonials hung on from there.
Freshman Justin Mazzulla provided a career-high nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting effort, while providing invaluable grit and hustle that doesn't appear in the box score. Grad student Bo Ziegler did the same in going against an AAC team after transferring from the conference after graduating from South Florida.Toro, meanwhile, finished with 10 points for his fifth double-figure scoring game of the season.
Temple was led by Quinton Rose's 20 points (8-13 FGs), while Alston Jr. tossed in 18 (6-10 FGs), but GW held the rest of the Owls to 38.7 shooting collectively.
After climbing back to .500, GW has a chance to get back on the positive side of the win/loss ledger with a home date against Princeton looming on Wednesday, Dec. 6th. Tip-off in Smith Center is slated for 7 p.m.
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