GW MBB crosses Potomac to face George Mason
By: Arthur Pescan
On the heels of a much-needed win last Wednesday against Duquesne, 65-63, the Colonials (10-9, 2-4 A-10) hit the road once more to face the rival George Mason Patriots (13-6, 3-3 A-10) tonight at the Patriot’s EagleBank Arena.
The Colonials pulled off a victory at home against the Dukes in a game that came down to the wire in the second half. After leading by as much as 16 late in the first, the Colonials were overwhelmed by a resurgent Duquesne offense that managed to tie the game at 56-56 with 4:24 to play. However, junior Yuta Watanabe and senior Jaren Sina led the late scoring to put the Colonials back on top for the win, despite an errant buzzer-beater attempt by the Dukes’ Rene Castro.
The victory against the Dukes showcased GW’s recent surge in three-pointers and assists. The Colonials currently lead the A-10 in 3PT FG/game, shooting .403 from beyond the arc, and have improved their assist average to 15.0 per game over the last 10 games, compared to 11.0 per game before the holidays. Furthermore, Watanabe’s return from a calf injury has greatly benefited the Colonials’ offensive drive, with Watanabe scoring in the double-digits in six of his last seven games since returning.
George Mason comes into the matchup tonight a dominate team in the midst of one of its best seasons in recent history. Going 12-3 in their last 15 games, the Patriots are hoping that their offensive momentum will carry them over the Colonials. Senior Marquise Moore, at just 6 foot 2 inches, leads the squad with an impressive twelve double-doubles for the season, as well as the title of top rebounding guard nation-wide, posting an RPG of 10.9. Senior Jalen Jenkins and sophomore Jaire Grayer have also contributed greatly to the Patriots’ success, the former leading the league in field goal percentage (.642) and the latter shooting .484 from behind the arc.
Tonight’s battle looks set to be another nail-biter, as the Colonials must consistently contain the surging Patriots’ offense to keep their chances of victory alive. Especially notable is the equal matchup in rebounds, with both squads leading the A-10 on the boards, eliminating a key aspect of GW’s performance that has given them an advantage over other teams so far. Unless the Colonials can bring their best offensively and defensively, tonight looks to be a slug-fest that will ultimately go to the Patriots, 77-75.
Pregame is set for 6:50 PM with tipoff at 7 PM at EagleBank Arena on gwradio.com. WRGW’s post-game recap will be available immediately following the final buzzer available online at sports.gwradio.com.