GW Men's Hoops Edged Late by Kansas State, 65-62
Smith Shines Off Bench, Armwood Flirts with Triple-Double in Loss
Dec. 8, 2012
WASHINGTON - George Washington men's basketball and Kansas State battled through four ties and five lead changes in the second half, but the Colonials were edged out by the Wildcats in the final minutes in a 65-62 loss in front of a season-high 3,570 fans at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday.
Bolstered by a raucous and Buff-clad student section for the annual BUFF OUT game, the Colonials donned new Buff uniforms emblazoned with the primary GW Athletics logo and nearly came away with a victory in their marquee non-conference game. K-State guard Angel Rodriguez proved to be too much down the stretch though, scoring 10 of his game-high 17 points over the final 8:30 to will the Wildcats to a victory over the Colonials for the second straight season. GW fell to K-State, 69-56, in Manhattan, Kan., in December 2011.
GW (4-5) put four players into double figures for the first time this season with senior forward Dwayne Smith providing a season-high 14 points off the bench. Senior forward Isaiah Armwood recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and added seven blocks. Senior guard Lasan Kromah also scored 12 and freshman Patricio Garino chipped in 10.
Kansas State (7-1) was led by Rodriguez's 17 points and Rodney McGruder's 15-point, 11-rebound double-double. Will Spradling scored all 10 of his points in the second half, while Rodriguez totaled 14 of his 17 over the final 20 minutes to lift the Wildcats.
Ahead 29-27 at halftime, GW surrendered the lead early in the second half following an 11-2 K-State run sparked by a pair of three-pointers and eight points from Spradling. The Colonials quickly seized the momentum back with a 13-4 spurt, including a three-pointer and three-point play from Smith, to regain the lead, 50-48, with 9:03 remaining.
The back-and-forth battle continued from there as Rodriguez scored five straight points to put K-State ahead by three, but Kromah turned a steal into a transition basket and Garino hit classmate Joe McDonald for a fast-break layup for GW's final lead of the game at 54-53 with 5:02 left.
District native McGruder hit his only field goal of the second half - a three-pointer - 34 seconds later to put the Wildcats ahead by two before Garino hit two free throws for the game's seventh and final tie at 56-56 with 4:11 to play.
Nino Williams, who finished with eight points and nine boards, tipped in a miss and Rodriguez made three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point shot as K-State took a four-point cushion, 61-57, at the 1:46 mark.
Armwood made 3-of-4 foul shots to trim GW's deficit to a point, but Rodriguez hit a clutch 12-foot fadeaway jumper with 63 seconds left. McDonald again got the Colonials to within a point with a short jumper with 15.1 seconds to go only to send Spradling to the line for a pair of free throws and a three-point Wildcats' lead with 13.9 seconds to play. Smith, who hit GW's only three-pointer in the second half, got the ball out of an inbound play with 5.5 seconds left, but his launch from the wing hit the back iron and was hauled down by McGruder as time expired.
The Colonials were outrebounded (46-36) for just the third time this season, including a 24-11 disadvantage on the offensive glass. The Wildcats held only a slim 17-15 edge in second-chance points though as they shot just 35.7 percent (25-70) from the floor. It marked the first time GW lost this season when leading at halftime (4-1), leading entering the final five minutes (4-1) and when holding its opponent to under 41 percent shooting (4-1).
GW will play its ninth game in 24 days, appear on television for the fourth time in five games, and face its third power conference opponent so far this season when it visits Rutgers on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The game will be regionally televised on SNY and be picked up for online distribution on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. GW Athletics and GW Alumni will host an Alumni Reception at the Rutgers Zone at 6:30 p.m., ahead of the 7:30 p.m. tip-off at the RAC.