Sunday, February 18, 2018

Men's Basketball: George Washington 80 VCU 56

GW's Yuta Watanabe (#12) led all scorers with 23 points

From our friends at GW Athletics...

GW Men's Basketball Dominates VCU

Yuta Watanabe scores 23 points and Terry Nolan Jr. adds 18 as GW wins 80-56

In a series that hasn't always been kind to GW, including a cruel twist of fate against VCU in last year's match-up at the Smith Center, the Colonials were long overdue for a fun one. On the shoulders of Yuta Watanabe, GW found the fun and thoroughly enjoyed a well-rounded, resounding win against the visiting Rams.

Watanabe finished with 23 points on 10-of-21 shooting, in a massive effort on both ends of the floor. The senior from Kagawa, Japan also finished with nine rebounds, a team-high four assists, two blocks and two steals with a pair of three-pointers for good measure in his 35 minutes of action. The All A-10 defender and potential A-10 First Team performer got a big helping hand from Arnaldo Toro who drew the defensive assignment on A-10 First Teamer Justin Tillman. Toro hounded the long and rangy Tillman and by limiting his touches contained the damage he could do. Though Tillman double-doubled with 11 points and 13 rebounds, the relatively quiet game for him trickled through his teammates who were unable to match the Colonials' proficiency.

Behind Watanabe's game-high scoring effort, freshman Terry Nolan Jr. was the contest's second-leading scorer with 18 on 5-of-10 shooting. Nolan also pilfered five steals contributing to the 17 Rams' turnovers. Grad student Bo Zeigler notched 12 in his 20 minutes of play, while Toro finished with 11 in a balanced scoring attack that featured 52.6 percent shooting from the floor.

Arnaldo Toro (#11) added 11 points & 6 rebounds

At one point in the second half GW led by 33 and the Colonials were able to empty their bench in the closing minute. The all-around effort saw GW hold a 40-32 edge in the paint, 21-10 in points off turnovers, and 8-0 on the break, while defensively allowing VCU a .373 field goal percentage. De'Riante Jenkins, who tortured GW at VCU last month, was the only other Ram next to Tillman in double-figures with his 10 points.

Freshman Terry Nolan Jr. (#1) scored 18 points in just 25 minutes

The Colonials led 45-27 at halftime and only accelerated further ahead after the half in contrast to the season's first match-up between the teams. GW and VCU both netted a half-dozen three-pointers, but the Colonials' came on 12 fewer attempts in an efficient 6-of-11 effort from deep. Getting back to a winning formula of yesteryear, GW also made more free throws (14) than the opposition attempted (13) in a .778 outing at the charity stripe.

Sophomore Jair Bolden (#3) dished out 2 assists

In the jam-packed A-10 standings, GW will close Saturday's slate of games just two games behind the 5th spot in the standings with four games to play in the regular season. Up next for the Colonials comes the Richmond Spiders on Wednesday night at 7 PM in the penultimate home game of the season. A road contest with Saint Louis ensues before Senior Night at GW against Fordham on February 28th at 7 PM. The Colonials close the regular season two weeks from today in Dayton. GW stands at 5-9 in conference with room to gain on Richmond and Saint Louis, which entered play on Saturday tied for 5th at 7-6, and Dayton who was 5-8 before today's action.

Patrick Steeves (#10) added 6 points & 4 rebounds

Click here for yesterday's box score.