Thursday, January 19, 2017

Men's Basketball: George Washington 65 Duquesne 63

GW's Yuta Watanabe (#12) led all scorers with 15 points

From our friends at GW Athletics...

GW Men's Basketball Takes Down Duquesne, 65-63

Watanabe scores 15, Sina adds 14​

On Wednesday night at the Charles E. Smith Center, the George Washington men's basketball team hosted Duquesne and emerged victorious at the buzzer in a 65-63 nail-biter. With the victory, GW pulled back above .500 overall at 10-9 and matched Duquesne in-conference with a 2-4 A-10 mark. The Dukes dropped a game below .500 at 9-10.

What looked like it could be a runaway win for the Colonials turned into a tightly contested affair at the end as GW had to survive a potential game-winning three-point attempt from Duquesne's team-high scorer in the game, Rene Castro. Despite never trailing in the contest, GW saw its largest lead of 16 whittle to a tie game at 56-56 with 4:24 to play. Yuta Watanabe answered with a three to give the Colonials the lead back and though Castro scored six of his 13 points in the final :27 seconds, the errant buzzer-beater sealed the Colonials win.

Jaren Sina (#23) scored 14 points off the bench

With GW clinging to a 60-57 lead as the game clock ticked down towards the final half-minute of play, a Jaren Sina prayer at the shot clock buzzer rattled home - his fourth three-pointer of the game - to give GW some breathing room. Castro countered with a three of his own, however, and then a lay-up to narrow the Colonials' edge to one at 63-62 with :14 seconds to play. Duquesne promptly fouled Sina and the junior point guard buried both freebies to put the home team back up by three, and after a free throw by Castro then a GW miss at the line with :05 seconds to play, the Smith Center faithful could finally exhale when the potential Dukes' walk-off went wide.

Freshman Collin Smith (#15, 5 points) slams it home

"We're resilient - we've been here before," Interim Head Coach Maurice Joseph said of his message to the team after Duquesne tied it. "There's no need to panic. Everyone stay even-keeled. Let's go get this next shot... somebody is going to make a play."

Jair Bolden (#3) added 5 points, 4 assists & 4 rebounds

Watanabe paced all scorers with 15 for GW on 5-of-9 field goals including 3-of-5 from 3pt. range. The junior from Japan also dished a game-high five assists while committing just one turnover, and swatted three shots on the other end to the delight of the national television audience tuning in on J SPORTS in Japan. Sina finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three dimes for the Colonials, as the team moved the ball well on offense in freshman Jair Bolden's first career start alongside Sina in the backcourt, with 17 assists on 24 made field goals.

Ty Cavanaugh (#34) led all players with 10 rebounds

Tyler Cavanaugh double-doubled for GW with a game-high 10 rebounds and 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting as the third Colonial in double figures in scoring. Castro's night came in a reserve role and he was joined by starters Emile Blackman and Mike Lewis II who both threw in 11 for the Dukes. While Duquesne made more field goals (26) and free throws (7) than GW (24 field goals, six free throws) the difference was in three-point marksmanship. The Colonials got 11 of their buckets from the land of plenty in an 11-of-25 shooting night from deep, while limiting Duquesne to just four makes in 21 attempts (.190) on the other end.

Matt Hart (#30) scored 3 points with 2 rebounds

As the Inauguration takes over DC for the next couple of days, GW has a bye this weekend in A-10 play. The Colonials next game comes in a week's time at Revolutionary Rival George Mason on Wednesday, January 25th at 7:00 PM in an ASN production live regionally on CSN+.

Who wants (free) pizza?

Click here for last night's box score.