GW Men's Hoops Wraps Regular Season at Dayton on CBS Sports Network
March 2, 2012
WHO: George Washington Men's Basketball (10-19, 5-10)
DAYTON, Ohio - George Washington men's basketball concludes the 2011-12 regular-season on Saturday with a nationally televised CBS Sports Network contest at Dayton at 12 p.m. It marks the 14th televised game for the Colonials this season, the most for the program since the 2004-05 campaign.
The Colonials have clinched a bid for the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship and are tied with the Charlotte 49ers (13-15, 5-10 A-10) for 11th in the league standings. GW can be the No. 11 seed, regardless of its result at Dayton, with a Charlotte loss at Xavier. A 49ers' victory would leave the Colonials as the No. 12 seed. The first round of the A-10 Championship will be played at campus sites on Tuesday, March 6, at times to be determined by television.
On Senior Night on Wednesday, GW managed to trim a 10-point deficit with 3:17 remaining to 57-56 with 21 seconds left, but the Colonials couldn't find a go-ahead basket in the final moments in a 60-56 loss to La Salle. Junior David Pellom became the first GW player in at least two decades to post four consecutive double-doubles with a 16-point, 11-rebound effort on 7-of-9 shooting. Senior Aaron Ware made 5-of-7 shots to reach double figures with 10 points in his final home game, while junior Lasan Kromah also added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench. Senior Tony Taylor scored all six of his points in the second half and dished out a game-high seven assists, including five in the second half, to spark GW's late rally.
On Senior Day in March 2011, GW and Dayton battled through 11 lead changes and seven ties until Tony Taylor hit a pair of game-clinching free throws with 10 seconds left and Jabari Edwards blocked Chris Wright's tying attempt at the buzzer to give the Colonials a 60-58 victory, which snapped a three-game series losing skid.
GW last won at UD Arena on Feb. 26, 2005 on Carl Elliott's last-second steal and half-court running heave at the buzzer that broke a 59-all tie for a 62-59 victory. The Colonials have since dropped three straight to the Flyers at UD Arena, including a 70-60 loss in their last visit - a 2010 A-10 Championship first round matchup on March 9, 2010.
GW lost for the first time this season (5-1) when shooting at least 50 percent from the field when it made 23-of-46 shots in Wednesday's 60-56 loss to La Salle. The Colonials shot 21-of-38 (55.3 percent) inside the arc against the Explorers, versus just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc. Over its last five halves, GW has shot 54.8 percent inside the arc (51-of-93), but just 13.3 percent (4-of-30) from long range. After the first two weeks of the 2011-12 season, GW sat atop the NCAA national rankings in three-point percentage at 48.6 percent (35-of-72) thanks to a blistering 56.8 percent (25-of-44) rate in winning all three games at the CBE Classic's BGSU Subregional.
With his 16-point, 11-rebound double-double against La Salle on Wednesday, junior David Pellom became the first GW player in at least 23 seasons to record four consecutive double-doubles. He became the first player since Damian Hollis in January 2008 with three straight double-doubles following his 11-point, 10-rebound effort against Duquesne last Saturday. Pellom's five double-doubles so far this season are the most for a GW player in one season since Hollis (five) and Rob Diggs (seven) reached the mark during the 2007-08 season.
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 151 points (21.6 ppg) on 61-of-97 shooting (62.9 percent) over the last seven games.
Junior David Pellom continues to lead the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage at 68.8 percent (106-154). Pellom's 68.8 percent rate would rank second in the nation if he satisfied the NCAA minimum of five made field goals per game. Nearly a third of Pellom's field goals so far this season have been via dunks (34-of-106). Pellom's 68.8 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.
Dayton (18-11, 8-7 A-10) fell into a three-way tie for sixth place in the A-10 standings with an 82-71 loss at Richmond on Wednesday. The loss dropped the Flyers to 18-11 overall and 8-7 in league play along with Massachusetts and La Salle. The Flyers are 3-7 on the road and 12-4 at UD Arena this season.
The loss to the Spiders snapped a two-game win streak and a stretch of four wins in five games for the Flyers, who are in their first season under 33-year-old debut head coach Archie Miller, the younger brother of Arizona head coach and former Xavier head coach Sean Miller.
Guard Kevin Dillard, in his first year at Dayton after transferring from Southern Illinois, leads the Flyers in scoring at 12.9 points per game and is second in the conference with 171 assists and a 5.9 assists average. Forward Chris Johnson is close behind with 12.8 points per game and a team-best 6.5 rebounds an outing. UD lost starting pivotman Josh Benson and his 10.9 points per game to a torn ACL 14 games into the season.
The Flyers possess five players with 30-or-more made three-pointers this season, led by Johnson's 63 triples. UD is fourth in the A-10 in threes made per game (7.8) and paces the league in free throw shooting at nearly 77 percent.
Current GW assistant coach Pete Strickland served in the same capacity at Dayton from 1994-98 under then Flyers' head coach Oliver Purnell.