GW vs. Harvard Game Notes
The Colonials (3-2) are looking to rebound after a stinging 76-53 blowout loss to Maryland in the BB&T. Harvard is looking to for their fifth win after a double overtime loss at home to Northeastern. They were down by seven with a minute to go and managed to tie the ballgame. This is the first ever meeting between GW and Harvard, but both teams happen to have a common opponent this early in the year. Harvard lost at home to Boston university 75-59 while GW beat the Terriers in extra time at Boston. This is an important game to help get GW back on track.
The emergence of Herman Opoku:
Opoku, after riding the pine for most of his first his first two years in Foggy Bottom has emerged as a steady presence on the interior for GW. The 6-10 junior from Austria is averaging a modest 14 minutes and six points per game, but is helping the undersized Rob Diggs establish GW down low. He had seven points against Maryland and had some good tough offensive rebounds especially in the early going.
GW’s has three scorers averaging in double figures thus far in their ’08 ’09 campaign, with the high man Damian Hollis averaging just a shade over 11 points to lead the team. Noel Wilmore and Rob Diggs are the other two. Freshman guard Tony Taylor is fourth in scoring with just over 9 points per game, but leads GW in minutes with 32.2 per game. An interesting note from the BB&T is the distribution of minutes. Herman Opoku logged 23 while Hollis played for only 16. GW in fact used a 10 man rotation against the Terps, as 10 players played for 10 minutes or more. GW has a lot of bodies they can throw out there, the key is finding effective combinations.
GW’s achilles heels of late have been defense and free throw shooting. Harvard is shooting 75% collectively, GW is a shade under 60%. Defensively GW has had issues guarding the three pointer. Maryland’s Eric Hayes hit a trio of triples in the early going of the first half at the Verizon Center and Maryland never looked back. Maryland shot 9-19 from beyond the arc for the game. GW also allowed 45 points in the first half, as well as 54 points in the second half against Auburn.
A closer at Harvard:
Harvard has and experienced starting lineup led by junior guard Jeremy Lin, averaging 20.1 points per game. He is joined in the back court by senior guard Drew Housmann. Harvard was picked to finish fourth in the Ivy League this season. After Lin, the only other double figure scorer is freshman Keith Wright, a forward who is the only other underclassmen in the starting lineup for the Crimson.
Despite some runs of hot shooting by the Crimson, the Colonials remained in control throughout most of the game and came away with a 79-63 victory at home. This was just what the doctor ordered for a GW team that is coming off a blow-out loss to Maryland at the Verizon Center and has just one more home game before 4 games on the road (Sacramento State, 3-game Rainbow Classic in Hawaii). The Colonials will face local rival, American University, at the Smith Center on Wednesday night. Check back for game notes.