Saturday, February 11, 2017

Men's Basketball: George Washington 76 Saint Bonaventure 70

Tyler Cavanaugh (#34) led all scorers with 33 points

From our friends at GW Athletics...

GW Men's Basketball Bounces Back vs. Bonnies

Colonials take 76-70 win behind career highs from Cavanaugh (33) and Sina (22)

On the heels of a heartbreaker against conference front-runner VCU on Wednesday night, the George Washington men's basketball team needed to bounce quickly with Saint Bonaventure waiting in the wings. The Bonnies came to GW at 7-4 in conference play (tied for fifth) and having suffered a recent gut punch of their own from the Rams. With both teams jockeying for conference seeding with just six games remaining in the A-10 slate, the Colonials turned to their upperclassmen who simply would not be denied.

Grad student Tyler Cavanaugh and redshirt junior Jaren Sina dropped career-high numbers in front of the Homecoming Weekend crowd at the Smith Center, as Cavanaugh's 33 points were a new career best, while Sina's 22 points marked a new high in his career, to lead GW to a 76-70 victory.

Jaren Sina scored a career-high 23 points

Facing the conference's top scorer in Saint Bonaventure's Jaylen Adams, it was another upperclassmen - GW's defensive stopper Yuta Watanabe - who set the tone. The junior from Japan harassed Adams into a 1-of-10 afternoon from the three-point line and 2-of-13 performance from the floor. Adams was able to register 19 points by hitting 14-of-15 free throws, but it was GW that won the free throw battle as well. The Colonials got to the line 32 times and sunk 24 freebies, achieving one of their goals by making more than the opposition attempted. The Bonnies were 19-of-23 as a team.

Junior Yuta Watanabe led GW with 6 assists

"We have some tough kids," said interim head coach Maurice Joseph. "Resilient, hard-nosed kids, young, but tough. To bounce back the way we did and be up 16 at the first half against a team that in my opinion has one of the best guards in the country in Jaylen Adams and doing well defensively and rebounding - I'm just proud. I honestly am. They bought in, they didn't waiver, they were just rock solid."

Jair Bolden (#3) added 2 assists & 4 rebounds

Largely on the strength of Watanabe's prowess on D, the Colonials also notched another goal they set every game by holding their foe below 40 percent shooting from the field. Coupled with Adams' shooting struggles, the other half of the Bonnies' prolific backcourt, Matt Mobley, was errant on seven of his eight tries and was held to six points in a game that saw the visitors shoot .377 (23-of-61) as a team.

Sophomore Jordan Roland (#14)

While the game was iced at the line by four straight free throw makes by Watanabe and Sina after the Bonnies closed within three at 71-68 with :25 seconds to play, it was won on defense and from behind the arc. GW shot a steady 10-of-20 from long range - with Sina (5-of-8) and Cavanaugh (2-of-3) leading the way - while hounding Saint Bonaventure into a long 5-of-23 afternoon from deep. The Bonnies were led by David Andoh's 20 points, while Adams registered a game-high 11 assists.

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

For GW, it was a team effort that resulted in a 40-30 rebounding edge, as supporting Cavanaugh, who had 10 boards, were freshman Collin Smith (eight rebounds to go along with seven points) and Sina, who plucked a career-high tying seven rebounds on the defensive end to help limit the visitors' second chance tries. Watanabe led GW with a career-high tying six assists against just two turnovers in the all-around effort.

The GW Troubadours perform the National Anthem

GW led 42-29 after the first half, with Cavanaugh and Sina combining for 26 before intermission, and led by 16 points at its apex. Despite seeing the Bonnies trim the lead to one twice late in the second half, GW never trailed nor allowed the guests to tie the score in the final stanza.

Great turnout for Homecoming

"Down the stretch, your upperclassman have to make plays," said Cavanaugh. "We knew they were going to make a run, they're a very great team."

David Andoh (#0) led the Bonnies with 20 points

In addition to setting a new career high for points, Cavanaugh established new marks in free throws made (13) and attempted (14), while also recording his third straight double-double in 36 minutes of play. Though he's led GW in scoring and rebounding throughout the season his game has elevated over the last six, a stretch that has seen him average 21.3 points and 9.1 boards.

Jaylen Adams (#10) led all players with 11 assists

Following a 1-1 start to open the A-10 campaign, GW has gone on a three-game losing streak, answered with a three-game winning streak, only to drop three more in a row before stopping that skid on Saturday. Now GW turns to the road to try and start another winning streak with back-to-back road dates at Davidson (7 PM on Wednesday on CSN+) and at Duquesne (Sunday, February 19th at 12 PM on NBCSN), two teams the Colonials previously defeated at home this season.

Click here for today's box score.