Men's Basketball Downed by Penn State
Colonials see three-game winning streak end in 74-54 loss
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The George Washington's men's basketball team concluded its away-from-home non-conference slate on Saturday afternoon, and while a loss at Penn State evened the Colonials record at 5-5, GW has nearly made it through a gauntlet of Ken Pomeroy's top-50 programs that saw the team take on Florida State (27th) in Tallahassee, Xavier (12th) and K-State (34th) in Las Vegas, and Temple (46th) on the neutral floor of Capital One Arena before falling to the Nittany Lions (41st) in Happy Valley, 74-54.
With a week off now for final exams, the battle-tested Colonials can look forward to a sixth top-50 program in Miami, which is 15th in Pomeroy's rankings and 10th in the Associated Press poll. The Hurricanes blow into GW's Charles E. Smith Center for a nationally-televised noon tip-off on Saturday, Dec. 16th on CBSSN.
Against Penn State, GW made it harder on itself than it already was in the road Big Ten environment by not finding its shooting range in the Bryce Joyce Center until the second half. The Colonials, who had shot a combined 50 percent in their three-game winning streak, mustered a disappointing 5-of-23 shooting performance in the first 20 minutes, while seeing the home team's familiarity with their rims yield a 20-of-34 effort for the Nittany Lions. That disparity led to a 48-19 halftime margin for Penn State, and while the Colonials have made a habit of strong second half performances, the hole was too deep to dig out of.
"We dug ourselves a monster hole," said head coach Maurice Joseph. "We had to make some decisions, make some choices about what kind of team we want to be in terms of our grit, our competitive spirit, our will to compete, and I thought we came out in the second half a little bit more spirited, but this is a great lesson for our young team to understand that we can't come into any road game, never mind a good opponent, and not be spirited, and not be enthusiastic, and not play with a great sense of toughness and grit."
The Colonials did open the second on a 7-0 run, and outscored Penn State 33-26 in the second half thanks in part to 48 percent shooting. On the strength of 13 second half points from Yuta Watanabe, GW made a run at closing to within less than 20 several times in the second, but the Nittany Lions always had an answer. Watanabe finished with a team-high 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while tying Arnaldo Toro with a team-high six rebounds. Jair Bolden netted 12 to join Watanabe in double figures and he sunk GW's two makes from three-point range.
On the other side, all five starters scored 10-plus points for Penn State, paced by Tony Carr's game-high 19 points and four assists. Mike Watkins was an interior beast for the Nittany Lions with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double and a game-high four blocks.
GW will now be home through the new year, as after facing Miami next weekend, GW concludes non-conference play with D.C. dates with New Hampshire (12/20 at 7pm) and Harvard (12/23 at noon), before beginning A-10 action by welcoming the Saint Joseph Hawks to the Smith Center for the conference opener on Saturday, Dec. 30th at 4pm.
Sodom Joins Men’s Basketball Team
WASHINGTON – The GW men’s basketball team has added former four-star recruit Chris Sodom to its roster, head coach Maurice Joseph announced...
Men’s Basketball to Play in Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The GW men’s basketball team is set to take part in the 2018 Tip-Off Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville,...
Littles to Play in U-18 Basketball World Cup
GW men’s basketball signee Marcus Littles will take his game international as part of a United States Select Team competing in the Albert Schweitzer...
Men's Basketball to Host Summer Camps
Men's Basketball to Host Summer Camps
Men's Basketball Taps Out vs. Saint Louis
In an ending unbefitting for the glorious career that Yuta Watanabe enjoyed at GW, the senior star was forced to watch the final eight-plus minutes from the ...
Men's Basketball Survives Test from Fordham, 78-72
WASHINGTON -- In the First Round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at Capital One Arena in downtown, DC, the George Washington men’s basketball team...
Men's Basketball Opens A-10 Tournament vs. Fordham
HOT NEAR HOME: The Colonials will look to recapture the impressive form they displayed at Capital One Arena in December, when they shot 60 percent from the...
Watanabe Named Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - After turning in one of the finest defensive seasons in school history, senior guard Yuta Watanabe highlighted GW men's basketball's...