GW Men's Hoops Closes A-10 Home Slate with Senior Night Against La Salle
Feb. 28, 2012
WHO: George Washington Men's Basketball (10-18, 5-9)
WASHINGTON - George Washington men's basketball will honor seniors Tony Taylor, Aaron Ware, Jabari Edwards and Michael Conward in their final regular-season games at Charles E. Smith Center on Wednesday night against La Salle. The Colonials can clinch a berth in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship with either a victory over the Explorers, or a loss by Fordham at Rhode Island on Wednesday night.
A look at the 2012 GW Men's Basketball Seniors:
The Colonials are tied for 11th in the A-10 standings with Charlotte (5-9), which currently holds the tiebreaker over GW (5-9) by virtue of its victory over fifth place Saint Joseph's. With two league games remaining, GW holds a two-game lead on 13th place Fordham (3-11) and Rhode Island (3-11), and remains within grasp of eighth place La Salle (7-7, -2 games), ninth place Duquesne (6-8, -1 game), and 10th place Richmond (6-9, -0.5).
GW had a three-game series win streak snapped and fell to 20-11 in the all-time series with a 78-63 loss at La Salle on Jan. 25. Explorers' guard Ramon Galloway scored 21 of his career-high-tying 28 points in the first half to help La Salle to a 51-38 advantage at halftime, and GW would get no closer in the second half en route to the 15-point loss which evened the series between GW head coach Mike Lonergan and La Salle's Dr. John Giannini at 1-1. 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 (10-18, 5-9 A-10) ended a three-game home losing skid and a four-game series slide against Duquesne with a 56-51 victory at Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday. The win improved GW to 6-7 at home this season, leaving it with the opportunity to continue its streak of 22 straight seasons with seven-or-more home victories with a win Wednesday over La Salle.
With his 11-point, 10-rebound double-double against Duquesne on Saturday, junior David Pellom became the first GW player to record three straight double-doubles since Damian Hollis in January 2008. He recorded back-to-back 12-point, 11-rebound double-doubles in the two previous games against Charlotte and Saint Joseph's. Pellom would be the first GW player in at least 23 seasons with four straight double-doubles should he accomplish the feat on Wednesday night.
Juniors David Pellom and Dwayne Smith combined for 30 points on 13-of-15 shooting to lead the Colonials to a 44-32 edge in points in the paint and their first road victory in nine tries in the 69-67 triumph at Richmond on Feb. 11. GW also swept the home-and-home series with Richmond for the first time since 2007. The duo of Pellom and Smith have begun to provide the Colonials with a key scoring presence in the paint, combining for 130 points (21.7 ppg) on 52-of-85 shooting (61.2 percent) over the last six games.
Junior David Pellom continues to lead the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage at 68.3 percent (99-145). Pellom's 68.3 percent rate would rank second in the nation if he satisfied the NCAA minimum of five made field goals per game. Exactly a third of Pellom's field goals so far this season have been via dunks (33-of-99). Pellom's 68.3 percent shooting is threatening Joe Holup's (`56) 56-year-old single-season record of 64.7 percent field goal shooting (200-of-309) set in 1955-56, as well as the A-10 record of 66.3 percent held by Dayton's Sean Finn (2003-04). Pellom would need to satisfy the minimum of five made field goals per game to break Finn's league mark.
La Salle (18-11, 7-7 A-10) has posted a 3-5 record, including a 1-5 mark in its last six games, since its 78-63 victory over GW in Philadelphia on Jan. 25 to fall to 18-11 overall and 7-7 in the Atlantic 10, good for eighth in the league standings after being picked 13th in the preseason coaches poll. The Explorers won their first 12 home games of this season and are 12-2 at Tom Gola Arena this year, but are 5-8 in true road contests.
Seven of the Explorers last eight games have been decided by single digits, including their 67-62 loss at Fordham on Saturday. La Salle's five double-figure scorers couldn't overcome a 35-point, 16-rebound double-double from Fordham's Chris Gaston as he led the Rams back from an 11-point halftime deficit against the Explorers.
La Salle has used the same starting lineup in all 14 of its A-10 contests and gets double-figure scoring from all five starters in league games, led by Earl Pettis' 17.0 points per game. Ramon Galloway and Tyreek Duren add 14.6 and 13.0 points in league games, respectively, while Jerrell Wright and Sam Mills chip in 10.5 and 10.3, respectively.
The Explorers sit atop the A-10 and eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 40.8 percent, and also pace the conference with 8.2 made threes per game. Galloway is fourth in the league with 61 three-pointers and Mills is fifth with 59, while Pettis and Duren have converted 49 and 37, respectively.