GW Men's Hoops Clamps Down on VMI for 76-67 Victory
Armwood and Smith Both Score 18 as Colonials Close Out Keydets in Second Half
Dec. 22, 2012
WASHINGTON - Seniors Isaiah Armwood and Dwayne Smith scored 18 points apiece and the George Washington men's basketball team pulled away in the second half for a 76-67 victory over VMI at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday.
The victory snaps a three-game skid for GW (5-6), which won for the seventh straight time in the series and first since a 90-79 triumph over VMI at Conmy Hall in Fort Myer, Va., in February 1975.
The Colonials improved to 4-1 this season when holding their opponent below 40 percent shooting by limiting the Keydets to 36.7 percent (22-60) and their second-lowest scoring output of the season. VMI entered the game ninth in the nation in scoring at 82.2 points per game.
Armwood, who paces the Atlantic 10 in rebounding and double-doubles, added nine rebounds to narrowly miss his fifth double-double of the season, while Smith made 8-of-11 field goals en route to his season-high 18 points in just 12 minutes off the bench. Freshman Joe McDonald chipped in seven points, five rebounds and four assists, and classmate Kevin Larsen provided six points and seven boards.
VMI (4-7) dropped its second straight and fourth in its last five despite four double-digit scorers, including 19 second-half points from Stan Okoye. Okoye, who averaged 19.3 points entering Saturday's game, was shut out in the first half, but finished with a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double as he single-handedly kept the Keydets close throughout the second half.
After battling through five ties and six lead changes in the first half, GW used a late 14-2 run to take a six-point lead into the halftime locker room. Freshman Patricio Garino and Larsen capped the run with a breakaway dunk and athletic spin move in the lane, respectively, before VMI's Brian Brown closed the first-half scoring with a three-pointer to cut the Colonials advantage to 35-29 at the break. Armwood scored 10 of his 18 in the opening frame.
Okoye keyed a rally with five free throws as the Keydets opened the second half with a 16-7 spurt to grab their first lead in more than 10 minutes at 45-42 with 14:16 to play.
Smith converted a reverse layin, Garino buried a triple and sophomore John Kopriva had a tip-in and dunk during an 11-1 run that gave the Colonials the lead for good. Junior Nemanja Mikic hit another triple, then Smith followed up with a conventional three-point play and a three-pointer to stretch the run to 22-9 and give GW its largest lead at 64-54 with 5:57 remaining.
Okoye scored 11 of his game-high 19 over the final four minutes, but could only get VMI as close as seven as GW converted six late free throws and Smith punctuated his best outing of the season with a two-handed slam with 38 seconds left. Dogged by Garino the majority of the contest, Okoye didn't make his first field goal until 8:22 remained and was limited to 5-of-16 shooting.
Tim Marshall made four of the Keydets' nine triples and finished with 14 points off the bench. Rodney Glasgow finished with 12 and Brown 10, but the backcourt duo combined for just four points in the second half after leading VMI with 18 in the first half.
The Colonials posted a double-digit rebounding margin for the fifth time this season with a +15 edge on the glass (48-33), made 19-of-22 foul shots and enjoyed a 42-20 edge in points in the paint in the victory.
GW now takes an eight-day break for the Christmas holiday before its next game when it hosts Sacred Heart at the Smith Center on Dec. 30. The game can be viewed live on RaiseHigh.tv and heard live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.