Before you could blink George Washington was up 12-0 over the visiting Rhode Island Rams in GW’s first home conference game. Rhode Island didn’t score its first bucket until the 13:50 mark of the first half and went on to only score 13 the entire first-half, with the Colonials outscoring Rhody 26-10 in the paint at the half. The win helps GW improve to 13-3 after their tough loss this past Thursday at LaSalle in their Atlantic-10 opener.
The story of the game was George Washington’s first half defense. The Colonials forced nine Rhode Island turnovers in the first half while only allowing six made baskets. The 37-13 score at halftime was too much for the Rams to come back from even though they outplayed and outscored GW in the second half. Neither team hit a three pointer until Rhode Island’s Gilbydas Biruta sunk one with just over seven minutes left in the game with both teams shooting less than 20% from behind the arc.
GW’s Kevin Larsen, a Danish forward, was the game’s leading scorer with 17 pts on a very impressive 8-10 shooting. The other starting forward for the Colonials, Isaiah Armwood, notched his fourth double-double on the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. After the game Coach Mike Lonergan said, “I’ve think we’ve done a good job getting touches for our big men, ” adding, “We have to get the ball inside, it gets teams in foul trouble and gets us to the free throw line.
A surprise of the afternoon was that Maurice Creek, who had scored at least ten points in all but two games this season was held to a season-low of four. Also of note for GW is that sophomore Patricio Garino scored in double-figures for the third straight game. Garino missed four games with a fractured finger during non-conference play. Kethan Savage also turned in 14 points in the win. For Rhode Island, freshman forward Hassan Martin turned in an impressive double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Up next for George Washington is a huge home matchup against Virginia Commonwealth on Tuesday night and then a trip to St. Bonaventure, who nearly knocked off UMass earlier today. The now 9-8 Rams will head up to Philly to take on LaSalle before getting a crack at George Mason at home.