Saturday, January 28, 2017

Men's Basketball: George Washington 63 Saint Louis 55

GW's Patrick Steeves (#10) scored 13 points

From our friends at GW Athletics...

GW Men's Basketball Takes Down Saint Louis, 63-55

Cavanaugh scores 18, Steeves adds 13 as Colonials overcome 13-point deficit

In front of a rowdy home crowd at the Charles E. Smith Center, the George Washington men's basketball team returned to its home floor for the first time in 10 days and secured a gutty 63-55 win over Saint Louis. With their third straight win the Colonials improved to 12-9 overall and 9-2 at home, while pulling even in A-10 Conference play at 4-4.

GW battled for the victory after falling behind by as many as 13 points in the first half. Saint Louis came out scorching and didn't fire a miss in their first eight attempts as the visitors opened play 8-of-8 from the floor including 5-of-5 from three-point range. The Colonials weathered the barrage and cut the deficit to six at the halftime break. After connecting at a mere .318 clip in the first half from the field, GW found the range in the second half. Behind Patrick Steeves' 11 points after the intermission on 5-of-6 shooting, the Colonials stormed out of the halftime break and outscored the Billikens 40-26 in the second stanza.

Yuta Watanabe led all players with 9 rebounds

As a team in the second half, GW sunk 13-of-23 field goals, including 4-of-8 three-pointers from four different student-athletes, while locking down Saint Louis on the other end. The Colonials limited the Billikens to 10-of-31 shooting (.323) in the second half, while Yuta Watanabe cleared the boards. Watanabe snagged all nine of his game-high rebounding total in the second half, while also dropping in seven of his nine points, assisting on a pair and accumulating two blocks and a steal in the final 20 minutes. After Saint Louis' lights-out start, the GW defense pulled the plug and held Saint Louis to 13-of-47 (.277) the rest of the way.

Tyler Cavanaugh led GW with 18 points

"We picked it up [defensively], and that's the reason why we won," said interim head coach Maurice Joseph. "Obviously we hit some shots, but what we did defensively was the difference in the game."

Jair Bolden (#3) added 5 rebounds & 1 assist

Steeves finished with 13 points in his second consecutive double-digit and season-high outing after he went for 11 at George Mason on Wednesday night. Tyler Cavanaugh paced the Colonials in the scoring column with 18, despite foul trouble that limited him to 30 minutes of play. As was the case in the last game as well, the GW reserves were critical in the win, outscoring their Billiken counterparts 28-5. After Steeves' lucky 13, Jordan Roland put in eight while Collin Smith chipped in seven.

Collin Smith (#15) led all players with 3 blocks

The Colonials also did as they always intend to do and made more free throws than the opposition attempted, this time doing so in a rout at the free throw line. GW's aggressiveness yielded 23 free throw attempts for 17 points, while Saint Louis made 4-of-6 tries from the stripe. Elliott Welmer matched Cavanaugh for game-high scoring honors from the Saint Louis side with 18 on 7-of-11 shots, but he was the only Billiken to make at least half of his attempts. Davell Roby, Saint Louis' leading scorer who was active for the game, chipped in 13 with a game-high five assists.

Davell Roby (#5, 13 points) led Saint Louis with 5 assists

While the GW rally commenced midway through the first, it wasn't complete until a Cavanaugh lay-up knotted the game at 46-46 with 7:18 to play. Roby and Roland traded threes to make it 49-49 at the 6:20 mark just before Cavanaugh went to the bench with his fourth foul. Saint Louis led again at 53-51 with 4:24 to go and the game remained that way until a short jumper in the lane by Steeves tied the game up once again with 2:43 to play. On GW's ensuing possession, Jaren Sina saved his only shot of the second half for a go-ahead three with just under 2:00 minutes to play and GW made the defensive stops it needed while knocking down shots at the line to hold on for the win.

Jaren Sina (#23) scored 5 points in a team-high 39 minutes

"Our defense leads to our offense," said Cavanaugh. "We started getting stops and Jordan Roland made some shots, Pat was huge down the stretch wheeling and dealing in the paint, and Jaren made a huge three. We knocked down shots when it counted and that’s a testament to our resiliency. It was a huge win for us."

Arnaldo Toro (#11) added 3 points & 2 rebounds

A difficult stretch now awaits GW with a road date at Rhode Island on Tuesday (CBSSN at 7 PM), followed by rematches with Richmond on the road (February 4th at 2:30 PM on NBCSN) and VCU at home (February 8th at 9 PM on CBSSN) - three teams ahead of GW in the A-10 standings - as the Colonials currently sit in a three-way tie for seventh.

Click here for today's box score.