Your Guide to GW sports

Senior forward Kevin Larsen pushes to the basket for a layup in the Colonials' win over Tennessee. Larsen had 15 points in a team-high 36 minutes on the floor. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Senior forward Kevin Larsen pushes to the basket for a layup in the Colonials’ win over Tennessee. Larsen had 15 points in a team-high 36 minutes on the floor. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

A late-game Tennessee surge cut a once 15-point GW lead to just 73-70 with less than 30 seconds to play. When graduate student guard Alex Mitola got a backcourt violation, momentum seemed to be behind the Volunteers as they inbounded, looking to tie the game.

Point guard Kevin Punter, who had a game-high 24 points, threw up a three-point attempt from the top of the key which bounced off the Barclays Center rim, up for grabs. But senior forward Kevin Larsen, as he and his team had all night long, was there to bring it down with force, his tenth rebound on the night.

Number 21 in blue also drew a foul. He would miss two at the line on the other end, but GW would hold on for the three-point victory over its SEC foe Friday night in Brooklyn, good for its sixth consecutive win in its unblemished 2015-2016 campaign.

“I thought we were going to pull away in the second half but I give them credit,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “We were a little undisciplined defensively, sinking in, giving up threes but they’ve got a terrific coach and they did a really good job of getting back in the game and taking advantage of our turnovers, but we made enough plays to win the game.”

GW’s pair of big men, junior Tyler Cavanaugh and Larsen, paced four Colonials who scored in double-figures with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

Larsen’s 10 rebounds completed his second double-double on the year, as he lead a dominant team effort on the boards. Five Colonials had five or more rebounds, while the team added seven, to edge the Vols 47-30.

“Our point guard is our best rebounder, he only had six tonight but when we really box out and we’re able to do that–Tennessee was smaller, but we’ve been able to do that against some bigger teams and that’s something that we pride ourselves on, rebounding every night,” Cavanaugh said.

While GW dictated the game off the glass, they shot poorly in the first half and allowed the Vols to jump out to an early lead. The Colonials trailed by as much as 19-11 after they failed to convert on the offensive end on multiple tries.

But with its rebounding effort staying consistent, winning the battle 22-14 in the half, GW eventually

Senior Patricio Garino rises through two Volunteer defenders to score a layup. Garino had 12 points but shot only 4-11 from the field. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Senior Patricio Garino rises through two Volunteer defenders to score a layup. Garino had 12 points but shot only 4-11 from the field. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

found its touch. Cavanaugh had a field day down low, posting 14 points (7-11) in the half, while Garino provided a spark from three-point range with two of the team’s three long balls in the opening frame.

Larsen and Garino had eight points by halftime, when GW had secured a 38-27 lead behind a 48.5 percent clip from the field to Tennessee’s 38.7. At the time, the Colonials had 11 assists to the Vols’ 4.

The second half brought much of the same, as GW ended the night with a 45.2 shooting percentage from the field and 34 points in the paint.

Late in the final frame however, Tennessee upped the offensive pressure with a quartet of three-pointers, giving them seven on the night compared to GW’s three, which came on 15 attempts.

The Colonials bent, but did not break in the game’s waning minutes when its lead was cut single digits. Senior point guard Joe McDonald, who had eight points and six rebounds, scored his team’s last four points on pivotal drives.

“I just think that we needed to get stops and we kind of, we had breakdowns defensively late for sure. Kept fouling, stopped the clock,” McDonald said. “But coach said earlier in the game, you know, to try to take advantage of when they have a good point guard in Punter, try and attack him. And he had four fouls late so I knew he wouldn’t want to foul so I had to try and take advantage of that situation.”

The Vols would end the night with 20 fouls to the Colonials’ 16, conceding a crucial 14 points at the line to GW.

The Colonials are back in action Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. to take on No. 24 Cincinnati for the Barclays Center Classic championship.

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Senior Alexis Chandler drives to the basket in GW's exhibition game. Chandler played in front of a crowd from her home state of Texas in GW's double overtime win over Iowa Friday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Alexis Chandler drives to the basket in GW’s exhibition game. Chandler played in front of a crowd from her home state of Texas in GW’s double overtime win over Iowa Friday. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

Prior to the game Iowa supporters boasted that they are No. 21 and GW is No. 23 according to the Coaches Poll. GW fans countered that they are No. 24 and Iowa is No. 25 according to the Associated Press. But, at this point of the season rankings do not matter much other than showing that these are two good teams and it should have been a close game.

To say this would be a close game was quite the understatement.

It took double overtime to decide the victor between the Colonials and the Hawkeyes. A 50 minute battle including key foul-outs, confusing arguments with the officials and several charges was won 81-77 by the Colonials who outlasted the Hawkeyes in their penultimate game in Texas.

“You are playing against a top 25 opponent, both teams are nationally ranked so everyone is expecting a good game,” senior forward Jonquel Jones said. “To be able to walk out with the win makes it feel that much better.”

The first 14 minutes of the game were back and forth. Both teams ran a fast paced half-court game and fought through 11 ties and five lead changes in the first half. During the first quarter the largest unanswered scoring streak was only 3 points after an and-one by junior forward Caira Washington. Jones was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring 12 points and 12 rebounds and making it look easy.

Jones finished the game with 23 points, 26 rebounds and 4 blocks. Living up to her placement on the Wooden Award watch list, she drew in defensive players all game, was a constant scoring threat and was always in position to get the board.

“I was just playing hard down low the good thing about our team is that we have people that can drive the ball and force the other team to rotate and help so that opens us up to have the advantage on the rebounds. So if you can have 26 [rebounds] it’s a compliment to the entire team,” said Jones.

With five minutes left in the first half, the Hawkeyes got on a little bit of a run and were able to maintain a 6-point lead for a few minutes. Their zone defense was consistently working with Jones on the bench and sophomore guard Whitney Jennings fueled their offense with a couple baskets from behind the arc.

As it came closer to halftime GW was able to come back with a run for themselves. A couple good three-point shots by junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and junior guard Hannah Schaible tied the game up for the Colonials.

This was only Schaible’s second game back after coming off an injury. After being restricted to only 9 minutes in her first game, Friday was the first time she was a key contributor on the floor. Her effort and importance to the team did not go unnoticed.

“Hannah did a really good job today just understanding how Iowa was playing, I needed somebody that was going to be strong with the ball and try to make a play off the dribble. She brings such an energy to the court that she effects the game without having to score points” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said.

With no time left in the first, sophomore forward Chase Coley knocked down the buzzer beating shot from distance giving Iowa the 35-32 lead going into halftime. This lead was not close to enough to convince anyone watching or playing the game that the Hawkeyes had the advantage.

Iowa came out strong and in the first 3 minutes of the second half and went on a 7-0 run. They were able to maintain that lead that went as high as 11 points after shooting a much better percentage in the third from the field compared to the Colonials (50 percent to 29.4 percent).

Although GW never seemed out of the game in the third quarter, some foul trouble by graduate student guard Lauren Chase and good shooting by Iowa was not a good combination for the Colonials. They were not able to get any runs going and ended the third trailing 44-51.

The fourth quarter was a completely different story. The GW offense was finally clicking and sophomore guard Bri Cummings, Chase, and Washington were able to lead the Colonials on a 15-0 run that gave them an eight-point lead (their largest of the game).

“As much as it was a scoring run, we were really active on the other end. We weren’t putting them at the line and we were able to get out in transition a little bit,” Tsipis said, “That was probably the turning point of the game, just for a momentum standpoint.”

After Chase fouled out with less than 2 minutes left in regulation time, GW was having a hard time taking care of the ball and turned the ball over a few times leading to equalizing baskets.

After some clutch Iowa free throws and a jumper from Coley, the game was tied with 30 seconds left. The Colonials dribbled out the majority of the clock but because of a sloppy pass were not able to even get a shot off.

After a timeout, junior guard Alexa Kastanek got a shot off with less than a second left that went flying off the backboard. The Iowa coaching staff starting arguing that Kastanek was fouled so the officials decided to look at the replay. To anyone viewing, this seemed very odd because of the rule against reviewing non-called fouls. A foul call would have allowed Iowa two free throws with no time left, in need of one point to win the game.

After a long time in discussion they explained to the coaches that they could review the play because it was actually called a foul, but the foul occurred after the final buzzer, sending it into overtime.

Only 5 points were scored on each side for during the first overtime, all of which were come from behind points for the Colonials. Despite Washington also fouling out, the Colonials were able to go with a slightly smaller lineup and continue their success. With the game on the line—down two—Jones was able to grab a rebound and put in an easy basket to tie it all up and send the game into a second overtime.

“[Jones] is willing to do whatever needs to be done. It is so important because it keys our transition, it gets us extra possessions on the offensive end and it’s deflating to the opponent when you have somebody who has the ability to get almost every rebound,” Tsipis said.

Again in the second overtime, Jones came through for GW. The game was knotted up at 73 when she knocked down back-to-back jump shots and brought the lead to four with under a minute to play. Texas native and senior guard Alexis Chandler was able to net two free throws and a layup to seal the deal for the Colonials and lock up their fifth win of the season.

“I don’t ever try to say one [win] is better than another but I think this win is really important because we had two of our starters foul out, an opportunity to win it in overtime, and a little bit of a scare with a call that was made then disallowed, just good perseverance. Lots of things that you can teach from this game that will make us better in the long run,” Tsipis said.

Saturday at 2:30 p.m., the Colonials conclude their trip to the Lone Star state in a matchup against Wright State.

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Junior Caira Washington navigates a post-trap in GW's win over American earlier this season. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Caira Washington navigates a post-trap in GW’s win over American earlier this season. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

By eating up the paint, No. 24 women’s basketball got a Thanksgiving day win over Houston Thursday, topping the Cougars 82-78 in the first game of the Lone Star Showcase.

Senior forward Jonquel Jones and junior forward Caira Washington each posted a double-double, Jones’ coming with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Washington’s with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Jessieka Palmer led all scorers with 25 points, but the Colonials shot 47 percent to Houston’s 42.9 to get the win.

“[Jones] just opens up more space for me down low,” Washington said. “When she’s down low and we’re both down there we just make sure that we’re constantly moving so that we’re opening up space for one another, working the high-low and that just creates a lot of space for us to work.”

Senior guard Alexis Chandler was 5-for-7 with 10 points in the game. She and senior guard Aaliyah Brown are both from Texas, and got to play in front of a home-state crowd in the game.

The game itself was streaky, and neither team got discouraged when the other team went on a run. After both squads traded dominant streaks, they went to the lockers at halftime with the score close, 37-33 in GW’s favor.

The third quarter was the deciding frame for the Colonials, who outscored Houston 24-12, including 12 points from Washington. Along with Jones eating up the inside, GW outrebounded the Cougars 51-28 and outscored them 50-22 in the paint.

Houston had its strongest edge in points off turnovers, beating GW 27-12 in that category as the Cougars’ press rattled the Colonials late in the game. GW’s giveaways allowed Houston to crawl back from a 26 point deficit with just a little over five minutes left in the game and make it competitive with a 28-5 run.

“We went zone and I don’t know if that just put us on our heels a little bit, we didn’t execute against their press very well at all,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “Whether it was even breaking it to get a good shot or at times we turned it over and it led them to, I think, confidence.”

Junior guard Hannah Schaible, who had been day-to-day with a minor injury, played for the first time this season. She was a bit edgy, collecting four fouls in nine minutes on the court to go along with one point, two assists and three turnovers, but said it was an important step to just get back on the court and that the format of the Lone Star Showcase, with three games in three days, should help.

“I can really get back into game situations better,” Schaible said. “You can play so hard in practice but games are totally different so having three chances to figure myself out a little bit, it’s a great opportunity.”

Ultimately, Houston’s late push was not enough. Palmer even hit a half-court shot at the buzzer, but the Colonials still had a four point cushion to come away with the win.

GW’s next test comes Friday at 2:30 p.m. against No. 25 Iowa.

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Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 12:35 p.m.

Preview: Men’s basketball vs. Tennessee

What: Barclays Center Classic, Men’s basketball (5-0) vs. Tennessee (4-1)

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., MASN, SNY, ESPN3 (TV)

When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m.

GW enters the Barclays Center Classic Friday night undefeated, riding its second 5-0 start under head coach Mike Lonergan.

The Colonials, who received 85 votes in Monday’s AP Top 25 Poll, will take on SEC foe Tennessee Friday before facing either Nebraska or No. 24 Cincinnati Saturday afternoon.

Tennessee has won three of its last four, including victories over GW’s last two opponents,  Gardner-Webb (89-64) and Army (95-80). Its only loss of the season came against Georgia Tech (ACC) in a 69-67 decision.

The Volunteers are coming off a 16-16, postseason-less 2014-2015 campaign in which former head coach Donnie Tyndall was under investigation by the NCAA and was ousted this offseason. Former Texas head coach Rick Barnes (who was replaced by former VCU head coach Shaka Smart) now heads up a program which returns most of last year’s roster.

Case for the Colonials:

Senior guard Patricio Garino leads three Colonials averaging double-digit scoring numbers with 17.4 per game, while junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh and senior guard Joe McDonald pace GW on the boards with an average of 8.0 rebounds per game.

The Colonials are averaging the same points per game total as the Vols, 83.4, but posting a 47.2 field goal percentage to their opponent’s 46.1. Tennessee’s offense will evenly match GW’s and may even have an edge, so the key for the Colonials will be a strong defensive effort.

Tennessee has rebounded well so far, but will be at a serious size disadvantage against GW. Tennessee’s starting frontcourt, Derek Reese and Armani Moore, measure 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-4, respectively.

The GW defense is conceding an average of 71.4 points per game to the Vols’ 73, and will need to find a way to shut down Tennessee star senior guard Kevin Punter who averages 21.8 points per game, 21st in NCAA Division I.

But the Vols will be without last season’s leading scorer Josh Richardson, who was picked 40th in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. For the Colonials to move to 6-0, they will have to match Tennessee offensively and get to the line while maintaining an edge on the other end of the floor.

Case for the Vols:

While the Colonials enter as the better defensive squad, Tennessee has all the tools it needs to dominate the scoreboard. Punter is one of four upperclassmen scoring in double-figures, part of an offense that, on average, outerbounds GW 44.4 to 41.4.

Like their Atlantic 10 opponent, the Vols have a veteran core that could be hard to stop. Senior forward Moore is big threat down low, averaging 18.6 points, a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game. Junior guard Robert Hubbs III also adds a 16.2 points a game and is a averaging a team-lowest 0.4 turnovers per game.

Despite GW going a healthy 10-21 from deep against Gardner-Webb Tuesday, Tennessee will most likely have the three-point shooting edge in this one, averaging a 36.5 percent clip to the Colonials’ 29.2.

If the Vols can solve the GW defense and continue to put up big numbers, they could hand the Colonials their first loss of the season.

The Bottom Line:
Expect this game to be a close one, between two evenly matched mid-major programs. Tennessee won’t go down easily, but if GW can be the team that finally controls the boards against the undersized Vols, that could be the difference-maker in getting to the Championship game on Saturday.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s basketball (3-1) vs. Iowa (4-0)

Where: Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, Texas

When: Friday, Nov. 27 at 2:30 p.m. EST

After a 1-1 trip to California, the Colonials continue their road-trip in the home state of senior guards Aaliyah Brown and Alexis Chandler.

The second game of the trip is against No. 25 Iowa. This will be a tough matchup for both teams. With both sides so close in ranking, neither team winning will be considered a true upset.

The Colonials have not matched up with the Hawkeyes since 2000.

The Case for the Colonials:
 Senior forward Jonquel Jones has shown why she is so highly regarded by having some great individual performances in the past few games. The Colonials have been successful with the ball in her hands. So far this season, Jones has proven that she is also a threat from behind the arc, making her a tough matchup for any team.

Although the frontcourt is usually highlighted for the Colonials, the Hawkeyes are not short of size on their roster. This game may be an opportunity for the GW guards to step up and lead for the Colonials.
Junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and graduate student guard Lauren Chase will look to take advantage by playing an up-tempo game.

The Case for the Hawkeyes:
 The Hawkeyes are undefeated this year and are streaking going into the tournament. They have yet to be truly tested but do not expect them to be intimidated by any team.

Last year the 26-8 Hawkeyes made it all the way to the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by No. 5 Baylor.

They are expecting to make it back to the tournament and GW is their first ranked game that can establish their talent.

Junior guard Ally Disterhoft leads Iowa with team highs 16.8 points and 4.3 assists per game. They also have some height and skill down low from freshman forward Megan Gustafson.

Bottom line: If the Colonials are able to keep the game going fast and rebound like they have been, they should have the upper hand. But, do not be surprised if the improved Iowa defense and their backcourt leads the Hawkeyes to the win.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Alex Kist.

After a tough loss to No. 15 Stanford, the Colonials concluded their two-game road stint in the Golden State with a win over Fresno State on Monday in a low-scoring battle, 61-53.

Senior forward Jonquel Jones posted a double-double, pacing the Colonials with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while senior guard Lauren Chase followed suit with 12 points and eight rebounds in the eight-point victory.

No. 24 GW struggled to bring offensive drives to fruition in the first half, but switched to zone coverage to keep defenders at bay, which allowed Jones to get in on the action.

“We settled in the first half for a lot of jumpers, and then when we got out in transition, attacked the rim, we got a few easy shots from offensive rebounds or deep post touches,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “I think we gained some confidence and executed better against the man.”

Utilizing a side-to-side lateral defense to open play, the Colonials (3-1) limited the Bulldogs (1-3) to a low-scoring first half, where they also racked up nine fouls in the opening quarter.

GW took advantage of getting to the bonus early, but Fresno State got a few more boards and took an early 17-11 lead in the first quarter.

In the second frame, senior guard Aaliyah Brown gave GW a spark off the bench and knocked down a shot from the top of key to put the game within four, 18-22. More Fresno State fouls allowed GW to knot the game at 22 after a three-pointer from freshman guard Mei-Lyn Bautista.

Whistle contact was prominent in the final few minutes of the half, as both teams were trying to minimize offensive efforts. The Bulldogs didn’t want to wake up Jones, but she came alive with a jumper to boost the score to 27-22 heading into the locker room. Fresno State led by as much as eight points with 16 seconds left in the first quarter, but GW countered and surged to a five-point lead with all the momentum at the break.

Falling behind in the rebounding margin, GW made some changes on the defensive end. Tsipis said Chase and senior guard Alexis Chandler did a good job of minimizing the Bulldogs’ point guard Shauqunna Collins when they moved to the zone.

“We changed defenses in the second half, and I think they [Fresno State] struggled to adjust to it,” Tsipis said. “We were able to get out in transition because I think the activity level we had in zone was just as good as in the man-to-man.”

In the second half, GW was able to feed the ball in the paint, helping extended its lead to nine in the third quarter. After some push back from the Bulldogs, Bautista knocked down another deep three to push the margin to 10.

Tsipis said that advantage breaks and accuracy from behind the arc was, “contagious.”

“We had to make those second efforts on the defensive end to make sure we were securing the ball, being strong with the ball,” Chase said. “I wanted to set the example by having that attacking mentality.”

GW continued to soar in fourth quarter, opening with a 9-0 run fueled by fast footwork and easy releases off the backboards. A high arching three fell through for the Bulldogs to close the gap to nine after the Colonials led by as much as 16.

But even getting some shots to fall, the Bulldogs didn’t have enough time on the shot clock to get combat the Colonials’ paint pressure, as the final whistle marked GW’s third win on the young season.

GW returns to action on Thursday to participate in the three-game Lone Star Showcase in Cedar Park, Texas. The Colonials will face Houston in game one at 2:30 p.m.

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Redshirt junior guard Matt Hart handles the ball in GW's win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday morning. Hart had his second double-digit scoring game in a row, notching 13 points. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

Redshirt junior guard Matt Hart handles the ball in GW’s win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday morning. Hart had his second double-digit scoring game in a row, notching 13 points. Camille Ramasastry | Hatchet Photographer

For the second time in head coach Mike Lonergan’s tenure, the Colonials have started the season 5-0 after a 94-65 drubbing of Gardner-Webb Tuesday morning.

With five scorers in double figures, even worry-prone Lonergan couldn’t help but admit that he felt “really good.”

“I thought it was a great game for us,” Lonergan said. “We played pretty well for most of the 40 minutes.”

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh led the way with 20 points and added 7 rebounds. He hit both of his two three-pointers and was 6-8 from the free throw line, with teammates putting him in the right spots all game. The Colonials tallied assists on 21 of 31 buckets, with Cavanaugh notching three of them himself.

The Wake Forest transfer is now averaging 14.8 points per game through five games with the Colonials.

“Kevin [Larsen]’s been getting me easy baskets every game,” Cavanaugh said. “Yuta [Watanabe] shot well today so they stretched it out, and guys were finding me in easy positions where I could score and it’s been a good transition, just got to keep on working on the defensive end.”

Watanabe added 19 points of his own on 5-for-7 shooting, finding his stroke after it had eluded him in previous contests.

Lonergan, careful not to be too pleased with his team’s performance, jokingly circled numbers on the stat sheet after the game and poked them at Watanabe. When asked what he was pointing out, Lonergan quipped that Watanabe was really 6-7 from the free throw line, not 6-6 as the sheet suggested, because a Gardner-Webb lane violation had negated one miss.

He didn’t have much else to nitpick. Watanabe sank 3-of-5 three-point shots, and avoided foul trouble which has limited him in previous contests.

“I was struggling with my shot the last four games but everyone told me to keep shooting,” Watanabe said. “And then today I felt like I took pretty good shots. I feel like I finally moved forward so I feel good.”

On top of Cavanaugh and Watanabe’s production, senior swingman Patricio Garino added 16 points, junior guard Matt Hart added 13 and Larsen added 12 as the Colonials outshot the Runnin’ Bulldogs 54.4 to 39.7 percent from the field.

Joe McDonald was held without a point, but had a game-high 10 rebounds, helping the Colonials outperform Gardner-Webb 43-27 off the glass.

“I’m mad at [McDonald] today, he kept stealing my rebounds,” Cavanaugh joked. “It’s been great, he’s the toughest player I’ve ever played with. And I mean today, I think he played a great game and I saw the stat sheet and I think he had zero points and I’m like, what? So he just affects the game in so many ways and he’s huge for our team. He’s the guy that makes everything go.”

And the Colonials didn’t need any more scoring. They did have another defensive lapse in the second half,

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh fights through a post-trap in the Colonials' win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday. Cavanaugh scored 20 points and collected 7 rebounds. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh fights through a post-trap in the Colonials’ win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday. Cavanaugh scored 20 points and collected 7 rebounds. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

allowing Gardner-Webb to match them with 41 points in the second frame. The turnover margin was 10-4 in the Colonials’ favor at the break, but they forced just three in the second half and committed 10 of their own to end -1 in that category.

Part of that was because the bench got involved late in the game. No Colonial played more than Larsen’s 27 minutes, which should have the team rested going into a Friday night matchup with Tennessee in the Barclays Center Classic. Depending on the result, GW will face either No. 24 Cincinnati or Nebraska the next day.

Tipoff on Friday will be at 9 p.m. Tuesday’s game was held at 11 a.m. because the game was DMV Kids day in the Smith Center. Several thousand screaming elementary school students lined the stands, mostly rooting for the Colonials over the Runnin’ Bulldogs (though they were rooting for Spongebob videos on the jumbotron the most). They also got autographs and participated in a clinic with the team after the game.

Lonergan, a Bowie, Md. product himself, reminisced about going to a Notre Dame-Maryland game with his father as a kid and said it meant a lot to him to get local kids in the Smith Center, which is why he went for the early game.

“Today is really rewarding,” Lonergan said. “I have five kids, obviously, but really rewarding day for me as a coach and I was very happy with the turnout and hopefully those kids will come back and maybe I can recruit some of them some day!”

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Senior guard Joe McDonald fires a three in the Colonials' upset win over No. 6 Virginia. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Senior guard Joe McDonald fires a three in the Colonials’ upset win over No. 6 Virginia. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

The men’s basketball team received 85 votes, second-most of any team outside the top 25, in Monday’s Associated Press Top 25 poll.

It is the first time this season that the Colonials have received votes for the top 25, and comes after GW defeated then-No. 6 Virginia last Monday at home as part of a 4-0 start to the season. The Cavaliers fell to No. 12 in the poll.

Utah was the only team not ranked to receive more votes than GW, garnering 95.

The Colonials got the most votes of any Atlantic 10 team. Dayton was the only other member school to receive votes, getting 18.

GW could potentially face No. 24 Cincinnati on Saturday, depending on earlier results in the Barclays Center Classic. GW faces off against Gardner-Webb Tuesday in the Smith Center at 11 a.m. before traveling to Brooklyn to play Tennessee on Friday at 9 p.m.

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Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW's Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior Caira Washington pushes to the hoop during GW’s Nov. 17 win over American. Washington had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Zach Montellaro | Senior Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Matt Cullen.

What: Women’s basketball (2-1) vs. Fresno State (1-2)
Where: The Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
When: Monday, Nov. 23 at 10:00 p.m. EST

The Colonials are traveling down to Fresno after their first loss of the season at the hands of Stanford. Aside from junior forward Jonquel Jones (27 points, 17 rebounds), the Colonials struggled offensively, shooting only 29.4 percent from the field. They are looking to get their first road win of the year and finish their trip to California on a high note.

The Bulldogs are also coming off a loss after dropping a home game against Washington. Despite the loss, they showed some scoring depth by having five players score in double digits.

Last season, GW pulled off the win when these two teams faced off. Graduate student guard Lauren Chase led the Colonials with 22 points and 6 assists in that game. Off the bench, senior guard Shauquanna Collins added 14 points for the Bulldogs.

Here’s what to expect from the game:

The Case for the Colonials:
The No. 22 Colonials are still a very talented team on both sides of the court. Their size inside and energy off the bench makes the GW defense hard to penetrate. Junior forward Caira Washington and sophomore forward Kelli Prange are always a force inside and will be very difficult for the Fresno State forwards to keep off the boards.

Coming off an amazing solo performance at Stanford, Jones will be difficult for the Bulldogs to contain. After hitting seven three-pointers in the last two games, she proved there has to be a body on her no matter where she goes. With her athleticism and size factored in, Jones is going to have to be on Bulldogs defenders’ minds all game.

The focus of the Fresno State defense will have to be in the paint which should open up some space for junior guard Shannon Cranshaw and Chase on the outside.

The Case for the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs finished last year 23-10 including a 13-game win streak and a first round win in the WNIT. But they are a very different team this year after loosing their two highest scorers and 4 of their regular starters.

They are going to try to run much of their offense through returners like senior forward Toni Smith and Collins.

Although this inexperience can be a poison against a top-ranked team like GW, it also plays to their strength. The Bulldogs only play about seven girls deep but they look to all of them as high contributors. Look for bench scoring to be a factor for both teams.

An interesting matchup this game will be between Collins and Chase. If Collins can get the upper hand and force mistakes by the GW guards, it could lead to a close game.

Bottom line: This is GW’s game to lose—but it could be just that if the Colonials don’t shoot better than they did against Stanford. Expect Jones and the rest of the frontcourt to get their way against the Bulldog forwards, but the entire Colonials team needs to find their stroke to get a bounce-back result.

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Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 1:03 p.m.

Garino earns A-10 Player of the Week award

Senior Patricio Garino goes for a layup in the Colonials' home opener against Lafayette. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Patricio Garino goes for a layup in the Colonials’ home opener against Lafayette. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Men’s basketball senior Patricio Garino has been named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for his performance in three games last week, the conference announced Monday.

Garino averaged 18 points per game – and, in fact, scored exactly 18 points in each game – as the Colonials won against No. 6 Virginia, South Florida and Army.

Garino shot 61.3 percent from the floor and was GW’s most consistent three point threat, hitting 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in that span. He was 7-of-8 from the floor on Monday against the Cavaliers, answering multiple Virginia runs.

This is Garino’s first-ever A-10 Player of the Week award, and the first for GW since Kevin Larsen took one home on Dec. 29, 2014.

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