Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kevin Larsen Arrives: GW Tops Fordham

George Washington's Kevin Larsen

I've been critical in the past of head coach Mike Lonergan's insistance on rolling out/starting frosh big man Kevin Larsen, instead of easing him into the lineup; but color me impressed after yesterday's stellar performance by the Montrose Christian alum, who scored a career-high 15 points to lead George Washington to a 68-60 home victory over a turnover prone Fordham opponent.

An announced crowd of 2,240 (conspicuously absent of GW students) at Charles E. Smith Center paid witness to Larsen's coming out party. Larsen shot 6 of 11 from the floor with 5 rebounds and just one turnover in 30 minutes of PT. Better still, Larsen displayed remarkable poise and an eye for open teammates throughout the game. If he continues to improve like this... watch out A-10!

One thing Larsen couldn't do well was shoot free throws... something nobody on the Colonials (except for Kethan Savage, who made both of his tries) could do. GW shot a horrid 17-37 from the charity stripe (45.9%) including 5 misses each by seniors Isaiah Armwood (5-10) and Lasan Kromah (1-6.) Even my new hero (Larsen) missed 3 of 6. That kind of shooting may be good enough to beat the likes of Fordham (6-21, 2-10) but the Colonials need extra practice before playing at Saint Josephs (14-10, 5-6) this Saturday.

As for Fordham, the Rams simply couldn't hold on to the ball, committing 22 turnovers (including a dozen in a disastrous second half, where they shot just 28.6% from the field.) That's all the Colonials needed, as Armwood delivered once again on the boards (12) and GW out-rebounded Fordham (who came in, ranked 48th in the nation in rebounds) 39-35. Kromah played a heck of a game away from the free throw line, scoring 13 on 6-8 shooting along with a team-high four steals (somebody give this pick-pocket a nickname!)

Last night's game was the 500th played at Smith Center (GW has won 346 of them.) Meanwhile, GW's victory gives Lonergan 399 on his career. Lonergan goes for 400 this Saturday against St. Joe's. At 6-5, the Colonials are currently tied with Charlotte and Temple for sixth place in the A-10; so each remaining game is important. GW returns home on Saturday, March 2nd to host A-10 leader Saint Louis (20-5, 9-2) at 4:00 PM.

Click here for last night's box score.