GW Men's Hoops Falls at #3 Syracuse, 85-50, Before 23,226 at the Dome
Dec. 10, 2011
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Juniors David Pellom and Dwayne Smith led George Washington with a combined 22 points and 12 rebounds in an 85-50 loss at No. 3 Syracuse, the likely new No. 1 team in the nation, before 23,226 fans at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.
Pellom finished in double figures for the second straight game with 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting and added seven rebounds, while Smith netted a season-high 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench.
Junior Lasan Kromah also reached double-digits with 10 points, but made just 3-of-13 field goals. The Colonials finished a season-low 30.6 percent from the field against the Orange's vaunted defense, which entered the game leading the nation in steals and turned GW's 18 giveaways into a 34-3 edge in points off turnovers.
Dion Waiters led undefeated Syracuse (10-0) with a career-best 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and added a game-high six steals. The Orange had 11 other players score, but none more than nine points, as it shot 50.0 percent from the floor despite making just 4-of-15 three-point attempts.
Kris Joseph finished with nine points and game-high eight rebounds for Syracuse as older brother Maurice, GW's assistant director of basketball operations, looked on from the Colonials' bench.
Syracuse scored the opening seven points and led 13-2 just over five minutes into the game, and GW managed to narrow the margin to single-digits just three more times against the likely new No. 1 team in the nation after top-ranked Kentucky and No. 2 Ohio State lost earlier Saturday.
GW (4-5) shot 26 percent in the first half, compared to 53 percent for Syracuse, and trailed by as many as 22 points at 45-23 after surrendering a 14-2 run following a Nemanja Mikic three that made it 31-21. Pellom threw down one of his two dunks with 14 seconds left before the break to make it 45-25 at intermission.
The Colonials showed life out of the halftime locker room, closing to within 50-35 early in the second half behind a 10-5 run sparked by a three-pointer and putback by Kromah. GW had two chances to trim its deficit further, but failed to convert a pair of steals into points, and Syracuse took advantage. The Orange responded with a clinching 19-3 spurt to grab a 69-38 lead with 8:42 to play.
Smith converted a series of three lay-ins over the larger SU frontcourt en route to seven straight points for GW to make it 71-47 with 4:55 left, the closest the Colonials would get the rest of the night.
After playing seven of its opening nine games away from home, GW begins a four-game homestand at Charles E. Smith Center this Thursday, Dec. 15 against Bradley. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the contest will be broadcast on 1050 AM, FederalNewsRadio.com, and GW All-Access.