Colonials Successfully Open Lonergan Era
The Mike Lonergan era began with a 64-48 win Friday night, as senior point guard Tony Taylor scored 20 points to lead George Washington to a victory over the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks at the Smith Center.
The Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason First Team guard powered the Colonial offense, shooting 50% from the floor and adding six rebounds. Particularly explosive on the fast break, Taylor’s performance was highlighted by a no-look alley-oop to fifth year forward Jabari Edwards.
Senior guard Aaron Ware and Junior forward David Pellom each notched nine points to help Taylor carry the load offensively. Lonergan recognized Ware’s willingness to attack the basket as a key to the game.
“You’ve got to take the ball to the basket, and that’s what Aaron’s been able to do in both our games so far. We’re going to see a lot of zone and we’re going to have to penetrate against it,” Lonergan said.
Despite the victory, the Colonials showed that there is room for improvement. The Colonials were out-rebounded by the Hawks for the game and shot only 3-for-12 from the 3-point arc. Lonergan expressed that the rebounding problems cannot become a trend.
“We’re a very poor rebounding team. We’ve got to become a more physical team and stay in the paint until we get a rebound. Some guys are in there battling but some are out at half court,” said Lonergan.
Even after spending time in practice this week working on the full court press, GW allowed several fast breaks during the first seven minutes of the game, giving up six points for the Hawks. The Hawks senior forward Tyler Hines was an offensive power both on the outside shot and in the paint, leading his team with 15 points.
“The press is new for us. We’re still working on it and it’s going to come with time. We switched up our defense and played a 1-3-1 which was effective in slowing it down,” said Taylor.
The Colonials head to the west coast on Sunday to take on the nationally ranked California Golden Bears at 9:30 pm EST on ESPNU, as part of the Progressive CBE Classic. Our coverage starts with our pregame show at 9:15, and then Nkwa Asonye and Tim Riordan will have the call from the Haas Pavilion.
The attendance at Friday’s home opener at the Charles E. Smith Center was 3,369.