GW Men's Hoops Begins Six-Game TV Stretch at Fordham on YES Network
Jan. 27, 2012
WHO: George Washington Men's Basketball (8-12, 3-3)
BRONX, N.Y. - In its first of six consecutive televised games, the George Washington men's basketball team travels to Bronx, N.Y., and venerable Rose Hill Gym to battle the Fordham Rams on the YES Network on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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 awareness weekend, a collaborative initiative of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Participating NABC member coaches will wear sneakers instead of dress shoes with their suits during weekend games to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
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.
Fans may support this cause by texting COACH to 20222 from any wireless phone to make a $5 donation toward Coaches vs. Cancer and help in the search for the cure. For more information, visit the Coaches vs. Cancer Facebook page or coachesvscancer.org.
GW is 19-5 all-time against Fordham and has won the last three meetings in the series by at least 20 points, most recently a 72-52 victory at Charles E. Smith Center in Jan. 2011. The Colonials limited the Rams to 29 percent shooting in that contest, but had to rely on a 54-percent effort in the second half after leading by only five points at the half.
In its last outing, GW saw its three-game Atlantic 10 win streak and three-game series win streak snapped at La Salle, 78-63, on Wednesday night. The Explorers improved to 11-0 at home this season, extended the nation's 13th-longest home win streak to 13 games, and moved into a first-place tie in the A-10 standings. Sophomore Nemanja Mikic hit three 3-pointers and led GW in scoring for the second straight game with 13 points. Junior Dwayne Smith added a season-high 11 points in 18 minutes, and junior Lasan Kromah chipped in 10 points and a game-high tying four steals. The Colonials shot a solid 46 percent, including nearly 58 percent in the opening half, but couldn't find an answer for the Explorers, who shot a season-best 58 percent for the contest.
At 3-3 in league play, the Colonials are tied for eighth place in the A-10 standings, but just one game out of first. GW's three league losses have come on the road against three teams currently tied atop the league standings in St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis and La Salle. The Colonials have surrendered 74.0 points per game on 53.5 percent shooting to opponents in those three road losses, and just 59.3 points per game on 38.5 percent shooting to opponents in home A-10 wins over Rhode Island, Richmond and Charlotte.
Saturday's game at Fordham will mark a final homecoming of sorts for GW senior Tony Taylor and graduate student Jabari Edwards, both of whom hail from the NYC metro area. Taylor, who starred at Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, is currently 26th on the Colonials' career scoring list with 1,202 points, while Edwards, who's from Brooklyn but prepped at St. Benedict's in New Jersey, is seventh all-time at GW with 102 blocks in 81 career games.
Fordham has suffered back-to-back 44-point defeats on the road to fall to 8-11 overall and 1-5 in Atlantic 10 play. The Rams dropped a 102-58 decision at Richmond on Wednesday night, preceded by a 95-51 loss at St. Bonaventure last Saturday. Junior Chris Gaston posted his 13th double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds in the loss to the Spiders.
The Rams are a much different team at home, where they're 7-2 with victories over Georgia Tech and nationally ranked Harvard this season, than on the road, where they're just 1-9.
Gaston is the lone Atlantic 10 player to average a double-double with a team-leading 15.7 points per game and a league-leading 10.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore Branden Frazier leads the team with 71 assists and adds 12.4 points per game.
Led by Gaston and Kervin Bristol's 7.5 rebounds per game, the Rams are the A-10's second-leading rebounding team at 37.8 boards per game, but they allow the second-most in the league at 38.3 boards per game. The -0.4 rebounding margin is due in large part to missed shots as Fordham is last in the league in field-goal percentage at 37.9 percent and second-to-last in three-point field goal percentage at 28.4 percent.
Fordham was picked to finish 14th in the Atlantic 10 this season after posting a 7-21 overall record and 1-15 league mark in 2010-11 under new head coach Tom Pecora. Pecora posted four 20-win seasons as coach at Hofstra from 2001-10.