Sunday, November 15, 2015

GW beats Lafayette 85-76: a tale of two halves (and I'm on the Hail to the Buff Podcast)

In a battle of of Revolutionary War military heroes, GW beat Lafayette 85-76 in the Colonials' home opener on Friday. The Colonials dominated the first half, up 50-28 at the break, but did not look sharp in the second, eking out a 9 point win.

Tyler Cavanaugh had a monster game with 15 points and 17 boards, and he looked great: quick drives to the basket and good post moves, while Kevin Larsen had a career high 24 points plus 11 rebounds. Patricio Garino had 17 points with a couple of threes and Paul Jorgensen added 10 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.

GW rolled in the first half with Kevin Larsen dropping 18 as the Colonials pulled out to a big lead. The second half wasn't much fun though, as the good guys seemed to lose focus on both ends of the court: Lafayette had lots of open looks and open drives to the basket, though to their credit they knocked down shots. The refs took the new emphasis on calling it closer to an extreme, calling 57 fouls for a total of 77 foul shots, which really slowed the game down and made it painful. Lafayette capitalized on those too, hitting 88% of theirs while GW hit 72.5%.

Yuta Watanabe was in foul trouble for most of the game, but played well when he was in, with 7 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks and a steal. Joe McDonald was 0/4 from the floor and took an elbow to the face. He went to the locker room but did return.

The crowd, especially the students, were noisy and into it, and the band seemed much louder than usual -- they really impressed me. And thankfully, the girl who used to scream an extremely annoying blood-curdling shriek after fouls, either graduated or stopped yelling. (The GW Band confirmed on twitter that the scream was no more.) GW also added a second bar in the Colonials Club, so that means easier access to beer, and there were new banners all around the Smith Center (though folks on GWHoops say the parking situation was a disaster, with some people waiting 30-40 minutes to leave the garage.)

Here's the box score and recaps from and the Hatchet.

GW next faces #6 Virginia on Monday at 7:30pm in the Smith Center, the biggest home game in years. More on that tomorrow.

And if you'd like to hear me talk with David Earl about the game (and also some good-natured ribbing of UVa) check out David's great Hail to the Buff podcast.

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