Georgia Outlasts GW in Sloppy Road Matchup
Men’s Basketball Writer
ATHENS, Ga. – The Colonials came into their matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs on Friday night carrying a lot of momentum following two impressive home victories over the Virginia Military Institute and Sacred Heart. They had hoped to use their matchup with Georgia as a way to build even more momentum heading into their toughest Atlantic 10 schedule in years. However, after their performance on Friday, GW will be lucky to have any trace of that momentum left, losing a sloppy affair to Georgia 52-41 at the Stegeman Coliseum.
The game can best be described as a clinic in how not to play the game of basketball as both teams combined for an astounding 40 turnovers, with Georgia committing 25 and GW committing the other 15. The Colonials struggled to shoot the ball the entire night, finishing with a shooting percentage just under 25 percent, including 0-12 on three-pointers. The Colonials seemed to be able to overcome their first half shooting struggles and even entered halftime up 21-18 before being dragged down by an atrocious second half in which the Colonials shot under 17 percent from the field. This, combined with Georgia’s shooting percentage of nearly 65 percent proved to be the difference in a game that was, quite simply, hard to watch.
The lone bright spot for the Colonials was freshman center Kevin Larsen. The rest of the team’s shooting woes did not seem to rub off on Larsen, who finished with 14 points on 6-6 shooting to go along with four rebounds. Fellow freshman Patricio Garino added nine points despite going 2-12 from the field and forward Isaiah Armwood finished with six points and seven rebounds.
For Georgia, sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope showed why he is developing into one of the most dynamic guards in the Southeastern Conference, finishing with 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists. More importantly, his right-hand, breakaway tomahawk dunk off a GW turnover with 14 minutes left in the second half proved to be the catalyst Georgia needed to spur them on to the win. Nemanja Djurisic added another 17 points and five rebounds to the Bulldog effort.
Clearly, this was a disappointing result for GW in a game that, despite lacking any flow or rhythm, was very winnable for the Colonials. Yet, once again, GW blew golden opportunities down the stretch to tie or take the lead and, as a result, let another potential statement victory over a BCS-conference opponent slip away at the end. Unfortunately, that trend will go down as the theme of the non-conference season for the Colonials and raises questions about GW’s ability to close out opponents. Entering an Atlantic 10 season that is the toughest for GW in years, this is extremely concerning. If the Colonials are to finish in the top 12 of the conference and qualify for the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn, they are going to have to get much, much better in late-game situations. Otherwise, this could become a season devoid of postseason play for GW.
With the loss, the Colonials drop to 6-7 on the season while Georgia improves to an identical 6-7. GW will now return to Foggy Bottom to begin Atlantic 10 play with a matchup against defending conference tournament champion St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and you can listen to all the action on WRGW Sports-Colonials Radio Central at gwradio.com.