GW Men travel to take on URI
By: Arthur Pescan
Fresh off the heels of a come-from-behind win, 63-55, Saturday against visiting St. Louis, the Colonials (12-9, 4-4 A-10) are striving to extend their win streak to four as they ship up the coast to face the Rhode Island Rams (13-7, 5-3 A-10) Tuesday evening. GW has been surging both offensively and defensively as of late and a win at Rhode Island will give them their longest streak of the season, as well as boost their chances in the conference standings.
After trailing the Billikens for more than half the game, the Colonials exploded in the second stanza Saturday night to edge their way to a victory at home in the Smith Center. Outscoring St. Louis, 40-26, in the second half, the Colonials were led offensively by the dynamic duo of grad students Tyler Cavanaugh and Patrick Steeves, with Cavanaugh notching 18 points and Steeves a season-high 13. However, the Colonial defense was what locked up the win, limiting the Billikens to a dismal 13-of-47 (.277) from the field for the last three quarters.
The new year has proven to be a new start for GW, with stellar performances across all categories after a lackluster last year in the team’s season. The Colonials currently sit atop the A-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.413), hitting double-digit threes in three of their last four games. Assists and rebounds have continued to be crucial for the Colonials as well, with the team averaging an impressive 15.0 assists per game over the last 12 games, and sitting second in the conference at the boards with a plus-6.3 margin. The bench has also proven to be crucial to the team’s recent success, with reserves racking up a record 40 points in last week’s blowout trouncing of George Mason and outgunning St. Louis 28-5 in Saturday’s game.
The Rams bring a serious defensive threat to Wednesday’s game, leading the A-10 in blocks per game at 6.0, and coming in third and fourth in the conference in scoring defense (66.4 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.416) respectively. Rhode Island also has a core trio averaging double figures led by senior E.C. Matthews at 15.4 points per game.
Tonight’s matchup looks set to be a tight one between the Colonials and the Rams, with both teams’ defenses on fire over the last month. More likely than not, tonight’s outcome will come down to whichever offense can better capitalize on any weaknesses that come up during game-play. Given the surging strength of GW’s offensive momentum, the matchup looks set to favor the Colonials; Tipoff will be at 7 PM at Rhode Island’s Thomas Ryan Center, with a WRGW game recap following the final buzzer on gwradio.com.
GW – 61
Rhode Island – 58