The Colonials Rebound from Opening Night Loss with Win over Boston University
Assistant Director, Internal Affairs
Joe McDonald has officially arrived at GW, with a 21 point performance at Case Gym in Boston. McDonald and Isaiah Armwood stuffed the stat sheet against Boston University en route to a 72-59 victory at “The Roof.” Armwood tallied 8 blocks, the highest single game production of swats since 2006. The senior transfer added 12 rebounds and dominated Boston’s markedly smaller team. The Colonials as a team went a shade above 90 percent (20-22) from the free throw line, able to draw many of Boston University’s players into foul trouble early in the game. The freshman combo of Garino and McDonald combined for seven assists, with Bryan Bynes and Armwood throwing in three apiece. The team was not in dire need of three point buckets at any time, but still made good on four of nine deep buckets, Nemanja Mikic converting half of his four attempts.
Offensive efficiency was on the menu for the Colonials in their second outing of the year, shooting 52 percent (24-46) from the field to close out the Terriers and move to 1-1 on the season. Only John Kopriva and Kethan Savage were held without a shot. Bynes was able to rebound from his lackluster first performance, making two of his three shots and all four of his free throws. As a team GW out-rebounded BU 40-35, yet BU was able to suck up 17 offensive rebounds and adding 14 second chance points. Tight defense on the sneaky guard combo of DJ Irving, an All Conference preseason pick in the American East, and Maurice Watson Jr. held the tandem to 5 for 25 shooting, keeping the major threat from BU quiet. BU was able to drum up scoring elsewhere with Dom Morris and John Papale scoring in double figures, along side Irving who chipped in 14, 12 and 10 respectively in their losing effort. BU may have thought there was an opportunity left in the game when Papale was able to score a put-back in transition after Watson Jr’s original miss with just over 5:30 left to play. At that point the BU press had helped force GW into 13 second half turnovers. The Colonials instead went on an 8-0 run in the next four minutes, all but sealing the win.
Quite a few players were familiar with the BU team, Armwood having played them when he was a student at Villanova and Dwayne Smith and Bryan Bynes having played BU twice, while Lasan Kromah scored 17 points in his freshman year against the Terriers. Coach Mike Lonergan was also very familiar with BU, having played against them in the American East Conference at Vermont, however second year BU Coach Joe Jones had never coached against GW or Lonergan. GW renewed the rivalry, and has now taken home 18 of the 20 games the two teams have played against each other. The game is a typical home opener for BU, and they have lost four of the last six home openers played against GW.
Looking forward to the men’s next trip at Notre Dame in South Bend on Wednesday, November 21st, it seems imperative that GW secure the basketball and ensure the turnover statistics are not a systemic problem for the team. The “burn offense” employed by Notre Dame and Mike Brey will leave little time for GW to operate with the ball, and empty possessions need to be avoided to compete down the stretch. Notre Dame is also significantly larger than BU, so Armwood’s block statistics would be even more impressive if they were to repeat. Rebounding, especially offensive rebounds, is another good way for GW to find time in the game to put points on the board.
With the win, GW improves to 1-1 on the young season. The Colonials’ matchup with Notre Dame tips off Wednesday at 7 p.m. You can listen to it on WRGW-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.