Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Men's Basketball: GW 82 Florida 77

19 points & 13 rebounds for GW's Kevin Larsen (#21)

From our friends at GW Athletics...

GW Men's Basketball Tops Florida, Advances to NIT Semis in NYC

Colonials Triumph at Home, 82-77

In its first-ever appearance in the NIT Quarterfinals, the GW men's basketball team ensured that its season wasn't going to end on its home floor. In extending its home court winning streak against non-conference opponents to 24 straight games, GW downed the SEC's Florida Gators, 82-77, to advance to the NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The Colonials will now play the winner of San Diego State vs. Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 29th at 9:00 PM on ESPN.

With the win GW notched its 72nd win over the last three seasons to tie for the program's best-ever three year stretch (2004-07), and the team's 26 wins are now one shy of equaling the 2005-06 team's program record 27 wins. The victory also ran GW's record against teams from the AAC, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC to 17-9 over the last three seasons, including wins over NCAA Tournament teams Virginia (#1 seed) and Seton Hall (#6 seed) this season.

Tyler Cavanaugh's three-pointer gives GW a 67-62 lead

Tyler Cavanaugh led the way for GW with a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, while frontcourt mate Kevin Larsen's monster double-double effort of 19 points and a game-high 13 rebounds (his 13th double-double of the season) keyed the Colonials' interior advantage. GW topped the Gators on the boards, 40-35, including 15-12 on the offensive glass to secure a 21-15 edge on second chance points. The big man tandem also limited the Gators' leading gun Dorian Finney-Smith to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting after he entered the game averaging nearly 15 points per contest.

Joe McDonald (#22) added 8 points & 3 dimes

The nail-biting affair had all the makings of two teams scrambling to get to the Big Apple as the squads matched each other shot-for-shot throughout a contest that featured 14 ties and 19 lead changes, with neither team ever leading by more than eight. GW led 39-36 after a first half in which it shot 16-of-31 (.516) from the floor, while limiting Florida to 15-of-35 field goals (.429). The teams matched each other with 34 points in the paint and each hoisted 65 shots with 24 three-point attempts, but GW's three additional makes from the field (31-of-65) was the difference.

5 points & 6 boards for Yuta Watanabe (#12) 

Patricio Garino also netted double figures for GW with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while the Colonials once again rode their sextet of career 1,000-point scorers for 73 of the team's 82 points, including eight from Joe McDonald in his final home game, five from grad student Alex Mitola and five from Matt Hart. Sophomores Yuta Watanabe (5 points, 6 rebounds) and Paul Jorgensen (four points) rounded out the Colonials' scoring.

Paul Jorgensen scored 4 points off the bench

Florida was led by KeVaughn Allen's 22 points, while Kevarrius Hayes (14), Kasey Hill (12 points on 5-of-18 shooting) and Justin Leon (11 points) tallied double figures for the Gators, but Hill was largely held in check by Watanabe who limited Monmouth's leading scorer Justin Robinson to 2-of-16 shooting in GW's last outing.

KeVaughn Allen (#10) led Florida with 22 points

GW's #MonumentalHomeCourtAdvantage yielded a 16-3 mark in the Smith Center this season, and the team is now 42-6 on its home floor since the court was redesigned with images of the Capitol, White House and Washington Monument prior to the 2013-14 season.

Colonials Head Coach Mike Lonergan

Click here for tonight's box score.

Gators Head Coach Mike White

GW Cheer Team