GW Men's Hoops Wraps Atlantic 10 Road Slate at La Salle
March 5, 2013
WHO: GW Men's Basketball (12-15, 6-8 Atlantic 10)
PHILADELPHIA - George Washington men's basketball plays its final road game of the regular season on Wednesday at La Salle. The Colonials had a three-game A-10 win streak snapped by the Explorers with an 80-71 loss at the Charles E. Smith Center last month.
The Colonials enter Wednesday's game in a three-way tie for 11th place in the Atlantic 10 standings with two league games remaining. GW shares a 6-8 league mark with Charlotte and Dayton, a game behind Richmond, St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph's, and owns head-to-head tiebreakers against the 49ers and Bonnies. The top 12 teams in the final 16-team league standings qualify for the 2013 A-10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 14-17.
In this season's earlier meeting, Isaiah Armwood led GW's four double-digit scorers with 17 points, but La Salle put six in double figures and made 11 three-pointers to defeat the Colonials, 80-71. GW has dropped three straight in the series against La Salle, including a 78-63 loss in its last visit to Tom Gola Arena in January 2012 in which it also had a three-game A-10 win streak snapped.
GW is coming off its second single-digit loss to a Top 20 opponent at home in less than a month after Saturday's 66-58 defeat to No. 18/19 Saint Louis. The Colonials also dropped a 59-56 decision to No. 14 Butler on Feb. 9. Freshman Kevin Larsen reached double-digit scoring for the seventh time in the last 10 games with 14 points, while Lasan Kromah and Dwayne Smith chipped in 12 and 10, respectively, off the bench. GW held a 48-45 lead entering the final seven minutes, but Saint Louis closed on a 21-10 run to dash the upset bid.
GW head coach Mike Lonergan enters Wednesday's game one victory shy of 400 for his 20-year coaching career (399-191). Lonergan trails only Temple's Fran Dunphy (465) and La Salle's Dr. John Giannini (436) as the A-10's winningest head coaches. Lonergan and Giannini met once prior to last season's initial A-10 matchups - 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.
La Salle is currently in third place in the Atlantic 10 at 10-4 in league play, a game ahead of Butler and Temple and in position for one of the four first-round byes in the A-10 Championship.
The Explorers have won six of seven games, including their most recent two outings against a pair of teams already eliminated from A-10 Championship contention in Rhode Island (72-65) and Duquesne (97-64).
La Salle improved to 12-2 at Tom Gola Arena this season with the 33-point victory over Duquesne on Saturday. Five players combined for 85 points, including 23 from Ramon Galloway and 20 from reserve Tyrone Garland, to pace the Explorers, who led by as many as 37 in the second half and enjoyed a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers. La Salle also had 23 assists on 34 baskets while committing just seven turnovers.
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 per outing.
Galloway leads the team and is third in the A-10 in scoring at 17.4 points per game, followed by fellow backcourt starter Tyreek Duren's 14.9 points per game, which ranks ninth in the conference. The duo provide the Explorers with the only Top 10 scoring tandem in the A-10. Garland, a Virginia Tech transfer who became eligible after the fall semester, has provided another scoring punch in the backcourt with 12.6 points in 20 games, while forward Jerrell Wright anchors the post with 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
GW concludes the regular season with Senior Day on Saturday at the Smith Center against Dayton at 2:00 p.m. The game will be televised on Time Warner SportsChannel in Ohio, streamed on RaiseHigh.tv (blacked out in Ohio), and broadcast on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.