GW Men's Hoops Hosts La Salle, Looks to Extend A-10's Longest Win Streak
Feb. 1, 2013
WHO: GW Men's Basketball (10-9, 4-2 Atlantic 10)
WASHINGTON - George Washington men's basketball will put its three-game Atlantic 10 win streak on the line on Saturday when it hosts La Salle at the Charles E. Smith Center. GW's current three-game streak is tied with Saint Louis as the longest active streak in the A-10.
A victory would give the Colonials four straight wins for the first time since a five-game streak from Dec. 31, 2010 to Jan. 12, 2011, a stretch which included their last home victory over La Salle - 72-67 at Smith Center on Jan. 5, 2011.
After winning a pair of A-10 road games at Massachusetts and Rhode Island, GW returned to the Charles E. Smith Center last Saturday and dismantled then conference co-leader Charlotte, 82-54. Freshman Patricio Garino made 6-of-6 shots, including a pair of three-pointers, and led the Colonials with 16 points and a game-high four steals. Senior reserves Lasan Kromah and Bryan Bynes each scored 12 points. The Colonials limited the 49ers to 31.6 percent shooting and just six assists while forcing 17 turnovers. GW also torched the A-10's leading field-goal percentage defense for 53.2 percent shooting (25-47), marking the first time this season a Charlotte opponent shot better than 50 percent.
Last Saturday's victory over Charlotte put Coach Mike Lonergan within three wins of 400 career victories in his 20th season as a head coach. Lonergan trails only Temple's Fran Dunphy (458) and La Salle's Dr. John Giannini (430) as the A-10's winningest head coaches. Lonergan and Giannini met once prior to last season's home-and-home series - as coaches at Division III powers Catholic and Rowan, respectively. Lonergan led Catholic to a 92-88 upset of then No. 1-ranked and eventual D-III national champion Rowan - then coached by Giannini - on Jan. 15, 1996.
GW was swept by La Salle in a pair of meetings last season, but still owns a 20-12 advantage in the all-time series, including a 13-3 edge at Smith Center. Each of the last three meetings in Foggy Bottom have been decided by single digits, most recently a 60-56 loss at Smith Center last February 29. The teams will meet twice for the fifth consecutive season, with GW visiting La Salle's Tom Gola Arena on March 6.
La Salle, the reigning ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com National Team of the Week following last week's victories over Butler and VCU, dropped a 61-60 decision to Massachusetts at home on Wednesday night. It marked only the second loss in 11 home games this season for the Explorers, who enter Saturday's game 5-4 on the road.
Head coach Dr. John Giannini relies on a balanced seven-player rotation in which all average at least 22 minutes per game. No other Explorers' player averages more than eight minutes an outing.
Ramon Galloway leads four double-digit scorers for La Salle with 17.1 points per game, third-best in the A-10. Starters Tyreek Duren and Jerrell Wright add 14.3 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. The Explorers have been aided by the addition of Virginia Tech transfer Tyrone Garland, who has averaged 12.2 points in a reserve role since becoming eligible after the fall semester.
Galloway (2.5 spg) and Duren (2.1 spg) are fourth and sixth in the A-10 in steals, respectively, to pace La Salle to second in the league with 8.6 steals per game.
Outside of A-10 play, GW and La Salle shared one common non-conference opponent in Sacred Heart. Both teams posted lopsided home victories over the Pioneers, with the Explorers winning by 29 (100-71) on Dec. 22 and the Colonials winning by 39 points (77-38) eight days later.
GW will travel to Duquesne on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tilt that will be broadcast live on FederalNewsRadio.com, RaiseHigh.tv and 1500/820 AM.