Saturday, January 26, 2013

GW Rolls Over Charlotte 82-54

You could argue that today's win is the kind that makes a program: The GW men's basketball team routed A-10 rival Charlotte 82-54 in front of 2,421 appreciative fans at the Charles E. Smith Center.

Without discounting the Colonials' superb performance, the game was marred by a whistle-happy officiating crew that called an embarrassing 45 personal fouls (including 20 in the first 10 minutes of the second half.) Two of the three refs (pictured below) were especially guilty... and should cover their faces in shame.

Tim Comer and Haywood Bostic (r) reflect on foul deeds

Fouls aside, GW played their best game of the year, jumping out to a 20-7 lead before settling for a 35-27 halftime advantage. Freshman Patricio Garino led GW with 11 points and a couple of steals. He made all four of his shots, including two three-pointers. His teammates also shot the ball well, making 57.7% of their first half shots (compared to 36.7% for the visitors.)

GW came out of the break with equal intensity in the second half, and increased their lead to 14 after a jumper by point guard Joe McDonald (8 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB) with just over 10 minutes left in the game. After that, things really got bad for the 49ers (16-4.) After a free throw by leading scorer DeMario Mayfield (17 PTS, 8 REB) with 7:03 remaining, Charlotte allowed 13 unanswered points to GW, falling behind 77-50 with less than four minutes to go.

GW's Joe McDonald goes 4-4 from the charity stripe

GW's victory moved them to 4-2 in conference play (10-9 overall) which is only 1/2 game behind A-10 leader Butler. Garino led the Colonials with 16 points (6-6 from the field) and four steals. Seniors Bryan Bynes and Lasan Kromah came off the bench to score 12 points each. Kromah added three steals in perhaps his best effort of the season.

Everything seemed to go GW's way in this one. Head coach Mike Lonergan was masterful all afternoon, cycling players in and out with great success. Outside of allotting 26 minutes to frosh Kevin Larsen, who again seemed lost on the court at pivotal times, Lonergan called a perfect game. Larsen's upside is high (he's a surprisingly good passer) but he desperately needs to improve his footwork and learn how to hold a screen (something GW has to work on collectively.)

Perhaps most impressive, the Colonials out-rebounded the 40th best rebounding team in the country 37-22, while shooting 27 of 34 free throws (finally!) for just under 80% If GW continues to play like this, A-10 contenders LaSalle (14-5) and Butler (17-3) should be plenty nervous visiting the Smith Center this Saturday and next.

Click here for yesterday's box score.