Men's Basketball Set for Homecoming vs. Davidson
GW and Davidson set for 4pm tip on Saturday as part of Homecoming weekend
TIPPING OFF: GW men's basketball looks to snap out of a January funk as the calendar has flipped to February, with the Colonials hoping to end a three-game skid as Davidson visits the Smith Center on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip. The game will be televised regionally by NBC Sports Washington.
LAST TIME OUT: In a game that saw eight ties and eight lead changes, with neither team gaining more than a seven-point lead, Duquesne came out on top in a 75-73 decision on Wednesday evening. Patrick Steeves matched his season high with 23 points while Terry Nolan Jr. added 16 as GW shot above 50 percent (.509) for the fourth time this season.
STARTER SHUFFLE: GW used its fourth different starting lineup on Wednesday as freshman Justin Mazzulla drew the first start of his career, with sophomore Jair Bolden giving way. The move paid off as in a career-high 32 minutes, Mazzulla dished out seven assists against two turnovers, while Bolden played 30 minutes off the bench and recorded a career-high eight assists with only one turnover. Bolden was also an efficient 4-of-6 from the field, hitting both of his 3-point attempts, to finish with 10 points.
ON THE ASSIST: GW's 23 assists against Duquesne marked a season-high and the most since also recording 23 at Dayton on 1/15/16. Every Colonial who played recorded at least one helper, led by Bolden's eight and Mazzulla's seven.
NOTABLE NUMBERS: Patrick Steeves leads the team with three 20-point games after Wednesday's 23-point effort ... GW matched a season-high with 14 fastbreak points in the game ... in A-10 games only, Bo Zeigler leads the league in blocks (2.4/game) ... Terry Nolan Jr. has hit double figures in scoring eight of the last 10 games, and in A-10 play ranks second on the team with 11.8 ppg ... in the loss to Duquesne, GW dropped its first game of the season when holding a lead at halftime (7-0 previously) ... the Colonials rank fourth nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (14.2) ... 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).
SERIES HISTORY: The series is tied up, 12-12, after Davidson took a 72-45 victory on Jan. 10 in North Carolina. At home, the Colonials hold a 6-4 advantage and have won the last two in the Smith Center.
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 inducted Saturday afternoon and honored at halftime of Saturday's game. The class includes Yegor Mescheriakov, one of two men's basketball alumni joining the Hall (also Gene Guarilia).
MORE ON MESCHERIAKOV, GUARILIA: A versatile 6-foot-9 forward from Minsk, Belarus, Yegor Mescheriakov was the epitome of student-athlete for GW's four postseason teams of the late 1990s. He earned All-Atlantic 10 honors in each of his four seasons from 1995-99, and was also a three-time A-10 All-Academic Team and 1999 Second Team Academic All-America selection who completed his undergraduate degree in just three years. As a freshman, he averaged 9.7 points and was named to the A-10 All-Rookie Team as GW reached the NCAA Tournament. He then led the Colonials with 16.6 points per game, including a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double average to earn A-10 All-Championship Team honors, en route to a Second Team All-Conference selection as a sophomore on GW's 1997 NIT team. GW returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1997-98 as Mescheriakov provided 12.7 points per game and garnered Third Team All-Conference accolades. He then set career-high marks of 17.6 points and 6.8 rebounds as he and Shawnta Rogers led GW back to the NCAA Tournament in 1998-99. Over 116 career games, Mescheriakov helped GW to 80 victories with 81 double-digit scoring games and 22 games with 20-or-more points. He ranks eighth all-time at GW with 1,645 points and was named to the All-Century Team in 2001.
6-foot-6 forward Gene Guarilia was a beast on the boards for GW from 1956-59 and parlayed that talent into the most decorated NBA playing career of any Colonial. He averaged a double-double in each of his three seasons, beginning with a team-best 17.1 points and Southern Conference-leading 18.6 rebounds per game in his debut 1956-57 season. His 447 total rebounds that year remain the ninth-most in a single-season in SoCon history. In 1957-58, he provided 15.8 points and 11.1 rebounds over 23 games to earn First Team All-SoCon accolades. As a senior in 1958-59, he provided 14 points and 12 rebounds on a GW team that came within a point of reaching the conference title game, capturing Second Team All-Tournament honors. He's 37th all-time at GW with 1,136 points and one of three GW players with over 1,000 career rebounds (1,019). He was a second round pick of the Boston Celtics in 1959 and went on to win four NBA Championships with GW legend Red Auerbach's Celtics from 1960-63.
ALSO JOINING THE HALL: Six more are set to join Mescheriakov and Guarilia in the Hall of Fame: Kimberly Beck (women's basketball), Kristin Davidson (women's soccer), Megan Hogan (women's cross country), Matt Osborne (men's soccer), Mary Jo Warner (administration) and Tom Zebroski (baseball). When they are officially inducted on Saturday, the GW Athletic Hall of Fame will see its membership rise to 168.
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