GW Men's Hoops Opens Against UMass in 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship
March 12, 2013
WHO: 11th-seeded GW Men's Basketball (13-16)
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - No. 11 seed George Washington men's basketball makes its 35th appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship this week, facing No. 6 seed Massachusetts in the first round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. GW trails only UMass in number of A-10 Championship appearances as the Minutemen have qualified for all 37 stagings dating to 1977.
GW is 22-32 all-time in 34 previous A-10 Championship appearances, capturing league titles in 2005 and 2007, but falling in the first round each of the past three seasons. The Colonials are 4-3 against the Minutemen in the A-10 Championship (1st Round: 1-1; QF: 3-1; SF: 0-1), most recently an 85-74 first-round victory at UMass on March 10, 2003, a game during which alumnus Chris Monroe (`03) became GW's all-time leading scorer.
GW's all-time round record at A-10's: First Round: 5-6 | Quarterfinals: 11-17 | Semifinals: 4-7 | Finals: 2-2
GW qualified for a chance to play for the A-10 title with an 81-80 overtime victory over Dayton in both teams' regular-season finale at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday. Trailing 79-75 with less than a minute to play in overtime, the Colonials got steals and layups from freshman Joe McDonald and senior Dwayne Smith, and Isaiah Armwood's tip dunk with 2.4 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner. Several storylines emerged from the thrilling contest:
GW topped UMass, 79-76, on Jan. 19, spoiling the day the Minutemen retired Marcus Camby's jersey. McDonald posted his first collegiate double-double with 16 points and 10 assists and the Colonials built a 16-point lead early in the second half before holding off a late charge.
Massachusetts concluded the regular season with a 75-66 victory at Rhode Island on Saturday for its third win in its last four games. Guard Chaz Williams provided a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double to pace the Minutemen, followed by backcourt teammate Freddie Riley's six 3-pointers and 18 points. Forward Cady Lalanne grabbed 15 of his team's 40 rebounds as UMass owned a +14 advantage on the boards.
First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection Williams is the catalyst for the Minutemen, leading the team and ranking sixth in the A-10 in scoring (15.4 ppg), pacing the league and ranking fifth nationally in assists (7.6 apg), and sixth in the conference in steals (2.0 spg) while also grabbing 4.3 rebounds per game.
With guard Jesse Morgan sidelined with an ACL injury suffered in its A-10 debut in January, UMass has received increased contributions from Riley and forwards Lalanne and Terrell Vinson. Vinson adds 12.6 points per game, while Riley and Lalanne provide 8.8 and 8.5 points per game, respectively. All three are averaging in double figures in A-10 play.
At 73.5 points per game, UMass is second in the A-10 and 48th in the nation in scoring offense. However, the Minutemen surrender 71.7 points per game, which ranks 13th in the league and 291st in the nation.
The winner of Thursday's GW-UMass contest advances to the A-10 Championship quarterfinals to face third-seeded Temple on Friday at 9:00 p.m. The Colonials dropped a 55-53 decision to the Owls at the Charles E. Smith Center on Jan. 16. GW's quarterfinal match-up would be televised on Comcast SportsNet Plus and The Comcast Network, streamed on Atlantic10.com, and broadcast on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820/1050 AM.