Men's Basketball Returns Home to Host Duquesne Wednesday
Colonials set for the first of three in a row at home as Duquesne visits for a 7 p.m. tip in the Smith Center
TIPPING OFF: After playing five of its last seven on the road, including games against each of the top five teams in the Atlantic 10 standings, GW returns home for the first of three in a row in the Smith Center as it faces Duquesne on Wednesday. The Colonials will celebrate Homecoming on Saturday vs. Davidson, then host La Salle next Wednesday, Feb. 7.
LAST TIME OUT: Despite leading by as much as eight in the first half and trailing by only five at halftime, GW fell at St. Bonaventure 70-52 on Sunday afternoon. Yuta Watanabe had a team-high 13 points with five blocks, while doing his best defensively to hold Jaylen Adams in check, but Adams and Matt Mobley finished with a combined 37 points (Mobley - 24, Adams - 13) to lead the Bonnies to victory.
SERIES HISTORY: The Colonials have won five in a row over Duquesne in the Smith Center, with the last loss at home coming back on Feb. 6, 2010 (70-63). The Dukes however, snapped GW's five-game overall winning streak in the series with a 69-52 win in the Palumbo Center earlier this month.
HOMECOMING ON TAP: Homecoming at GW gets underway this Thursday when women's basketball takes on La Salle, and continues through Sunday when Gymnastics hosts its annual Pink Meet in the Smith Center. A number of activities are planned throughout the weekend, including a Slam Dunk Tailgate with free food and drinks at Lerner Health and Wellness Center on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., in advance of men's basketball's 4:00 p.m. game vs. Davidson. GW's newest Hall of Fame Class will be honored at halftime of Saturday's game, including Yegor Mescheriakov, who is one of two men's basketball alumni joining the Hall (also Gene Guarilia).
TOP TWO-WAY THREAT: Watanabe, who leads GW in scoring and is consistently tasked with guarding the opposition's best player, has made a case to be called the top two-way player in the conference. He owns A-10 ranks of 2nd in minutes played (37.1), 3rd in blocks (1.7), 13th in rebounding (6.3) and 18th in scoring (14.6). The senior from Kagawa, Japan, who was named to the All-Defensive Team last season, has had a number of memorable defensive performances this season, the most recent when he held Otis Livington II of George Mason to three points on 1-of-7 shooting after Livingston came in averaging 26.0 ppg over his last four. Watanabe did that while contributing 19 points himself in 39 minutes of action.
BLOCK PARTY: GW is tied for first in the Atlantic 10 and ranks 32nd nationally with 5.0 blocks per game. The Colonials had 11 on Sunday, which is one shy of their season-high of 12 (vs. Rider, 11/20). Watanabe leads the way with 35 on the season, with his 1.7/game ranking third in the league, and he is T-5th in school history with 128 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.
NOTABLE NUMBERS: Terry Nolan Jr. has hit double figures in scoring seven of the last nine games, and in A-10 play ranks second on the team with 11.3 ppg ... the Colonials rank third nationally in personal fouls per game (14.0) ... GW is 6-0 when scoring 70 points or more this season, but is averaging 63.8 ppg on the year and has reached that mark just twice in the last 12 games ... Arnaldo Toro is averaging 10.2 rebounds/40 minutes ... Yuta Watanabe ranks second in the A-10 and 14th nationally in minutes per game with 37.1 and is one of three Colonials averaging more than 30 minutes per game (Jair Bolden - 35.5, Terry Nolan Jr. - 31.0).
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