GW Snaps Three-Game Losing Skid with Win over VMI
The GW Men completed a Colonials’ basketball sweep at the Smith Center Saturday afternoon. Emulating the GW Women, who defeated George Mason at the Smith Center earlier in the day, the GW Men cruised to a 76-67 win over the Virginia Military Institute.
The Colonials were led by seniors Dwayne Smith and Isaiah Armwood, who contributed 18 points apiece. Armwood, who leads the A-10 in rebounding and double-doubles, added nine rebounds and netted six of seven from the charity stripe, just barely missing another double-double.
Smith, in just 12 minutes off the bench, made good use of his time, shooting nearly 70 percent from the field to reach his season high in scoring. Freshman point guard Joe McDonald chipped in seven points and four assists, and took care of the basketball in the face of an intense, trapping VMI press. Fellow freshman Kevin Larsen added six points and seven rebounds.
The win snaps a three-game losing skid for the Colonials, who desperately needed a win going into a short break for the holidays. GW’s victory marks their first over VMI since 1975, a contest which dates back to 1912.
The Keydets, who entered the game averaging 88.2 points per game (ninth in the nation) were held to less than 40% shooting from the field and coughed up 10 turnovers.
After a first half punctuated by five ties and six lead changes, GW went on a late 14-2 run to take a six-point lead into halftime. Freshman Patricio Garino ended the first half with a breakaway one-handed slam. Armwood scored 10 of his 18 points in the opening half, including a few big buckets in the crucial first-half stretch.
The Colonials led by as much as 15 points in the second half as VMI’s backcourt, consisting of the speedy Brian Brown and Rodney Glasgow, combined for just four points in the second half after leading the Keydets with 18 in the first. Brown and Glasgow also combined for three turnovers.
It was certainly an encouraging performance for Mike Lonergan’s squad who had encountered three consecutive close losses coming in to the game. There is still much to remedy for the team, including the Colonials’ worrisome tendency to get off to slow starts on the court. Yet, their win over VMI was very important in getting this team back on the right track and, hopefully, back to .500 going into the Atlantic 10 season.
With the win, the Colonials improve to 5-6 and will now enjoy an eight-day break for the Christmas holiday before its next game against Sacred Heart at the Smith Center on December 30th at 2 p.m. The game can be heard on the WRGW Sports blog at wrgwsports.com.