Men's Basketball Faces UIC in CBI Quarters
Colonials and Flames set for 8 p.m. ET tip on Monday in Chicago
|George Washington (20-14) at UIC (16-18) | CBI Quarterfinals|
|Date, Time||Monday, March 20 | 8:00 p.m. ET|
|Location||UIC Pavilion | Chicago, IL|
|Additional Information||Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Notes|
TIPPING OFF: The GW men's basketball team continues its quest for a second consecutive postseason championship as it travels to Chicago to take on the Flames of UIC Monday at 8 p.m. ET in a CBI quarterfinal. The winner moves on to the semifinals, which will be held Wednesday evening against a to-be-determined opponent.
ABOUT THE CBI: Originally a 16-team field, eight teams are now vying for a spot in the semifinals. The other quarterfinal matchups on Monday are: Loyola (MD) vs. Coastal Carolina, Wyoming vs. UMKC, and Rice vs. Utah Valley. The remaining four teams will be re-bracketed for the semis, and the finals series is slated for March 27, 29 and 31, with one team hosting two of the three games (if necessary). Past CBI champions include Tulsa, Oregon State, VCU, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Santa Clara, Siena, Loyola Chicago and Nevada.
POSTSEASON CHAMPIONS: GW hopes to win a second consecutive postseason championship after last year capturing the NIT title, which was the first postseason championship in program history. Tyler Cavanaugh played his best basketball of the season in the NIT run last year, averaging 19.4 points on .493 shooting with 9.0 rebounds to earn the Most Outstanding Player award.
PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: In GW's first round win over Toledo, Cavanaugh continued his stellar play by pouring in 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting including 5-of-8 from three, while also adding seven boards, a block, steal and assist. The grad student has reached the 20-point plateau in six of the last seven games and over the last 15 games, is averaging 21.1 points and 9.6 rebounds. On the season, he has 16 20-point games and 12 double-doubles, and in his GW career has scored in double figures in 69 of 72 games.
SUPER STEEVES: Providing a scoring punch of late has been Patrick Steeves, who has settled into the starting lineup with double figure outings in eight of the last 15 games. Steeves, who missed the entire month of December with a knee injury, has found his form, scoring 16 against Richmond in the A-10 quarterfinals and 17 vs. Toledo.
HOT STREAK: GW is playing its best basketball at the right time of the year, having won seven of its last eight games. The best shooting team from three-point range in A-10 play, the Colonials have shot it well from all over recently, hitting above 45 percent in six of the last seven, including .549 and .491 in the last two games, respectively.
SCOUTING UIC: The Flames are 16-18 and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 71-69 win over Stony Brook at home last Thursday. UIC is making its first postseason appearance since the 2013 CIT and is led by junior center Tai Odiase, the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year who also leads the team in scoring (11.1 ppg). Four freshmen accompany Odiase in the starting lineup.
COMING THROUGH IN CRUNCH TIME: GW has played in two straight games that have been settled by five points or less, and on the season own a 9-3 mark in such contests. The Colonials have won three within the final 10 seconds. Cavanaugh hit a game-winning three with 8.2 seconds left at Temple, and Collin Smith erased a two-point deficit with a three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left that gave the Colonials a 68-67 win over USF on Dec. 3. Cavanaugh also knocked down three free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining to hand GW a 67-66 defeat of Fordham.
FIRING FROM THREE: GW has connected at a .400 clip or better from three-point range 18 times this season, and .500 or better nine times. The most accurate three-point shooting team in the A-10 during conference play (.403), GW has connected on double-digit threes 11 times this season. Cavanaugh leads the team in both three-point field goals (65) and attempts (162), good for .401 accuracy. Jordan Roland ranked as the third-most accurate shooter in the league during the regular season and is hitting .420 (42-100). Matt Hart leads the team at .429 (30-70).
ASSIST-TURNOVER RATIO: Though GW has a 1 .0 assist/turnover ratio for the season, the Colonials have finished with a positive margin in each of the last four games to average a 4:3 ratio in that stretch. GW was 15/11 vs. Dayton, 15/8 vs. Saint Louis, 14/13 vs. Richmond and 13/8 vs. Toledo.
All-ATLANTIC 10: GW had three student-athletes earn All-A-10 honors. Cavanaugh landed on the All-Conference Second Team and All-Academic Team; Yuta Watanabe was named to the All-Defensive Team; and Steeves joined Cavanaugh on the All-Academic Team.
CAVANAUGH APPROACHING TOP 25: Despite playing just two seasons for GW, Cavanaugh is on the verge of cracking the top 25 on the school's all-time scoring list. Cavanaugh has 1,254 points which ranks 27th. Just ahead of him on the list are Carl Elliott (1,256) and SirValiant Brown (1,274).
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