GW Men's Hoops Puts Home Streak vs. Charlotte on the Line on Saturday
GW (9-9, 3-2 A-10) vs. Charlotte (16-3, 4-1 A-10) | Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 | Charles E. Smith Center | 2:00 p.m.
Jan. 25, 2013
WHO: GW Men's Basketball (9-9, 3-2 Atlantic 10)
WASHINGTON - George Washington men's basketball aims for its third straight Atlantic 10 Conference victory when it hosts Charlotte at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday. The game will be the 10th televised game of the season for the Colonials, as it will air regionally on Comcast SportsNet Plus.
The Colonials won their most recent pair of games by sweeping through New England with wins at UMass, 79-76, last Saturday and at Rhode Island, 66-65, on Wednesday. Freshman Joe McDonald sparked the two road victories, going for 16 points and 10 assists against the Minutemen and scoring 11 of his 12 points in the final 11 minutes, including the game-winning jumpshot with 9.3 seconds left, versus the Rams.
GW head coach Mike Lonergan and his coaching staff will wear sneakers on the sidelines on Saturday as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Weekend. Coach Lonergan has been active in Coaches vs. Cancer since its inception and was recognized along with other Division I coaches at Yankee Stadium on May 11, 2011 for his work with the charity. "My mom, Maureen Lonergan, lost her six-month battle with breast cancer on June 9, 1995, and I think about her everyday. It is a great organization and I am proud to be associated with it," said Lonergan following his recognition in New York, which came just two days after he was officially introduced as head coach at GW.
The Colonials and 49ers split two meetings last season, with GW scoring a 60-52 victory at home on Jan. 21, 2012, and Charlotte ending a four-game series slide with a 72-62 win at Halton Arena on Feb. 22, 2012. GW enjoys a 9-2 home record as part of its 14-11 advantage in the all-time series against Charlotte, including a stretch of six consecutive home wins over the 49ers dating back to an epic 86-85 overtime victory on March 4, 2006 in which Carl Elliot's tip-in at the buzzer gave the Colonials an undefeated 16-0 A-10 regular-season mark.
GW is the only program of 345 nationally to start four true freshmen in a game this season and has done so in all five of its A-10 games, going 3-2 in that span with Joe McDonald, Patricio Garino, Kevin Larsen and Kethan Savage in the starting lineup. More than 41 percent of GW's total scoring this season has come from its five freshmen, including more than 43 percent in five league games.
Charlotte handed league-leader Xavier its first conference loss of the season with a 63-57 victory at home at Halton Arena on Wednesday night. That victory and VCU's loss on Thursday has created a three-way tie atop the A-10 standings between the 49ers, Musketeers and VCU Rams.
The 49ers are 7-3 since opening the season with nine straight victories, with their lone losses coming against Miami (Fla.), Florida State and Richmond. Charlotte improved to 10-1 at home with the victory over Xavier and is 3-0 in neutral site contests and 3-2 in road games this season.
Coach Alan Major gets a lot of minutes and offensive production from a nine-player rotation, led by double-digit scorers forward Chris Braswell (11.6 points per game) and guard DeMario Mayfield (11.4 ppg). Forward Willie Clayton adds 8.5 points per game and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game while leading the A-10 in field goal percentage (59.3 percent). Guard Pierria Henry chips in 8.9 points per game and is second in the league in steals (2.7 spg).
The 49ers top the A-10 in rebounding and boast the league's best defense in terms of opponent shooting percentage, allowing just 37.2 percent overall and 26.6 percent from three. On offense, Charlotte executes at a high rate inside the three-point arc, converting 51.1 percent of its two-point shots to combat a league-low 26.6 percent from deep.
GW has a week off until its next game on Saturday, Feb. 2 against La Salle at the Smith Center. That game can be viewed live on RaiseHigh.tv and heard live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.