Men's Basketball Visits Davidson on Wednesday
Colonials and Wildcats set for 7 p.m. tip at Belk Arena
TIPPING OFF: GW opens a tough stretch that takes them away from home for the majority of January's slate as it visits Davidson on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip. The Colonials are playing four of their next five on the road, with the lone home contest during that stretch coming on January 17 vs. Revolutionary Rival George Mason.
LAST TIME OUT: Yuta Watanabe paced GW offensively with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with a pair of triples in three attempts, and freshman Terry Nolan Jr. also found his way into double figures with 13 points of his own, but GW fell to defending league champion Rhode Island on Saturday, 81-60.
SERIES HISTORY: GW holds a 12-11 edge over Davidson in the all-time series, with each team holding home court over the past two seasons. The Colonials are 2-7 on the road in the series, and are looking for their first victory in Belk Arena since the Wildcats joined the A-10 prior to the 2014-15 season (0-3 since then). GW's last road win was back during the 1966-67 season, when both schools were members of the Southern Conference.
NOTABLE NUMBERS: The Colonials rank first in the A-10 and 42nd nationally with 77 blocks on the year ... GW is 81st nationally allowing 68.0 points per game, including an average of 64.2 in its past six games ... GW is committing just 13.8 fouls per game, a mark which ranks third nationally ... that's helped lead to a healthy advantage at the charity stripe, where the Colonials are 180-257 as a team compared to 150-215 for their opponents ... GW has made as many or more freebies than their opponent in 10 games this year ... Yuta Watanabe ranks first in the A-10 and 17th nationally in minutes per game with 37.0, a minute and a half less than national leader Jalen Adams of UConn.
SECOND HALF SURGE: While GW has struggled somewhat getting out of the gate, the Colonials have been at their best in the second half for much of the season, outscoring opponents in six of the last eight games and 10 times overall this year in the final 20 minutes. After trailing Rhode Island by 23 at halftime on Saturday, the Colonials held a 37-35 edge in the second half. For the year, GW has outscored opponents 551-532 in the second half, while getting outscored 556-480 in the first half.
MANAGER NO MORE: After serving as a team manager for the last three seasons, Jack Granger earned his way on to the roster as a walk-on for his senior season. The generously listed 5-foot-7 guard out of Middlefield, Connecticut, made his Colonials debut vs. Rhode Island (1/6) and etched his name in the all-time books by grabbing a rebound in his two minutes of action. He is joined by Camron Greer of Dayton as the only players in the A-10 listed at 5-7.
LEADING THE WAY: Watanabe leads GW in scoring (14.6), blocks (1.7), free throw percentage (.796) and minutes per game (37.0) which leads the A-10 and ranks 17th nationally. He also ranks second on the squad with 6.9 rebounds per game. He earned league Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career on Dec. 4 after averaging 21.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.5 blocks in wins over Morgan State and Princeton. On the year he has three double-doubles, 12 games in double figures scoring and one 20-point game.
RECORDS WATCH: With his 17 points against Rhode Island, Watanabe passed former guard and current Director of Player Development Joe McDonald for 34th on GW's career scoring list with 1,155 points. Watanabe also ranks sixth in career blocks with 120, just nine away from reaching the top five, and with 117 games played is just four away from reaching the top 10 on that list.
BLOCK PARTY: As a team, GW leads the Atlantic 10 and ranks 47th nationally with 4.8 blocks per game. Watanabe leads the way with 27 on the season, a number which ranks third in the league, and he is sixth in school history with 120 blocks in his career. Six other Colonials have contributed multiple swats. Watanabe had a seven-block game in the opener vs. Howard, which marked a career-high, and another six vs. Rider.
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