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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:30 p.m.

Anthony Swan to transfer

Anthony Swan will transfer out of the men’s basketball program, according to a tweet by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The sophomore forward, who played in all 38 games during GW’s 2015-2016 campaign, averaged 0.6 points and 3.4 minutes per game this past season.

As a freshman, the Los Angeles, Ca. native averaged 0.4 minutes and 1.8 points across 26 games, and was a member of GW’s Athletic Academic Dean’s List for the 2014 fall semester.

Swan becomes the second Colonial to leave the program this offseason, as news broke last week that sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen will also not return to Foggy Bottom next year.

With the departures of three seniors, one graduate student, Jorgensen and Swan, GW will return just seven players from its 2015-2016 roster, which captured the program’s first National Invitation Tournament title in school history this March.

Forwards Kevin Marfo, Collin Smith and Arnaldo Toro will join the 2016-2017 GW frontcourt next year as freshmen.

 

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Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen drives to the hoop in GW's victory over Saint Peter's. Jorgensen is set to transfer out of the men's basketball program this offseason. Ashley Le | Hatchet Photographer

Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen drives to the hoop in GW’s victory over Saint Peter’s. Jorgensen is set to transfer out of the men’s basketball program this offseason. Ashley Le | Hatchet Photographer

Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen will transfer out of the men’s basketball program, according to a tweet by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.

Jorgensen averaged 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game across 38 games played during the Colonials’ 2015-2016 NIT Championship campaign.

Sharing the GW’s sixth man spot with graduate student guard Alex Mitola, Jorgensen averaged 15.7 minutes per game, the most by any non-starter. His 81 total assists were the third-most on the team.

With the help of two former players, head coach Mike Lonergan recruited the 6-foot-2-inch guard into the program two years ago.

The New City, N.Y. native averaged 17.8 points per game in his senior season at Don Bosco Prep, and had already earned nicknames like “The Prince Harry of Harlem” and “White Jesus” on New York City’s street-ball courts before arriving at Foggy Bottom.

In his freshman year, Jorgensen averaged 3.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 10.2 minutes in 35 games played.

Jorgensen’s departure opens up yet another spot on the 2016-2017 men’s basketball roster, as the team also loses Mitola and three seniors this offseason. The GW backcourt will return Yuta Watanabe, Matt Hart, Jordan Roland and junior Jaren Sina, a Seton Hall transfer who sat out this past season per NCAA rules.

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Senior swingman Patricio Garino puts up a shot in GW's win against Monmouth Monday. Garino and the Colonials will look to extend their season Wednesday at home in an NIT quarterfinal clash with the Florida Gators. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Senior swingman Patricio Garino puts up a shot in GW’s win against Monmouth Monday. Garino and the Colonials will look to extend their season Wednesday at home in an NIT quarterfinal clash with the Florida Gators. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

What: No. 4 Men’s basketball (25-10, 15-3 Home) vs. No. 2 Florida (21-14, 6-8 Away), NIT Quarterfinal

Where: Smith Center, Washington D.C., ESPN2 (TV)

When: Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

With a dominant 87–71 victory over No. 1 seed Monmouth on the road Monday, GW earned a spot in the NIT quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

Officially the last Atlantic 10 team left standing in March, the fourth-seeded Colonials will take on the second-seeded Florida Gators of the SEC, a power-conference league that sent three teams to this year’s NCAA Tournament, with a trip to Madison Square Garden and the NIT semifinals on the line.

Although the Gators own the higher seed, Wednesday night’s matchup will be hosted at the Smith Center due to ongoing renovations at Florida’s O’Connell Center.

Florida was booted from the SEC Tournament by Texas A&M on March 11, but enters the contest behind back-to-back NIT road wins at No. 7 seed North Florida and No. 3 seed Ohio State, its first road win over a Big Ten team in school history.

GW and the visitors share three mutual opponents. The Gators defeated Saint Joseph’s and Richmond in non-conference play, but fell to Tennessee 83–69 in early January. Florida also boasts wins over LSU and then-No. 9 West Virginia, but blew its NCAA Tournament chances by going 3-6 in its last nine games of the regular season.

The Case for the Colonials:

Despite a season average of 75.8 points per game, GW’s offense has been hot as of late, scoring 80 points or more in each of its last three outings.

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh champions that effort with a team-high 16.7 points per game, and led the Colonials with 22 points and 12 rebounds at Monmouth. Senior forward Kevin Larsen paces GW with 8.3 boards per game, while senior swingman Patricio Garino adds a sturdy 14.2 points per contest.

Against a Florida team that starts a sophomore and two freshmen, the Colonials’ veteran experience may prove key. GW has six 1,000-point scorers on its roster and starts three seasoned seniors in Garino, Larsen and guard Joe McDonald who combined for more than two thirds of their team’s point total Monday.

The Colonials’ defense, which has been sluggish all year, also saw improvement against the Hawks. While GW allowed its opponents to shoot 43.3 percent from the field on the season, the Colonials held Monmouth to 34 percent and just 4-of-21 from three-point range. The Gators also score only a modest 73.6 points per game, and went just 6-8 on the road this year while GW is 15-3 at home.

The Case for the Gators:

Senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith guides a young Florida team with 14.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Six-foot-11-inch sophomore center John Egbunu (11.5 PPG) and freshman guard KeVaughn Allen (11.3 PPG) bolster the offense.

Strong board play could be a key advantage for the SEC squad. The Gators average 40.1 rebounds per game, tied for the 24th-most in country, compared to GW’s 37.9.

Playing in a power-conference also means Florida, who enters with an RPI of 52 to GW’s 65, has faced teams with a top-25 RPIs, such as powerhouses like Kentucky, Texas A&M, Michigan State and Miami, nine times this season. They went 2-7, while the Colonials saw only five teams with RPIs of 25 or greater and went 2-3.

Defensively, Florida concedes an average of 68.5 points per game, holds an advantage over GW in both steals (7) and blocks (4) per game, and is allowing its opponents to shoot just over 40 percent from the field.

Head coach Mike White, who replaced Billy Donovan, now at the helm of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will also be in search of his 22nd win of the season Wednesday, which would mark the most wins by a first-year coach in the team’s history.

The Bottom Line:

The Gators, a high-major program, will likely be a tougher test than either Hofstra or Monmouth. GW will need to draw momentum from its veterans and stay focused defensively, like it did Monday night in New Jersey, in order to extend its season and earn a trip to Manhattan.

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Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 7:48 p.m.

Preview: Men’s basketball at Duquesne

Alex Mitola and Matt Hart celebrate a three-point shot in the Colonials' 91–64 win over Duquesne on Jan. 9. GW travels to Pittsburgh Wednesday for its second meeting with the Dukes this season.  Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Alex Mitola and Matt Hart celebrate a three-point shot in the Colonials’ 91–64 win over Duquesne on Jan. 9. GW travels to Pittsburgh Wednesday for its second meeting with the Dukes this season. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

What: Men’s basketball (18-7, 7-5 A-10) at Duquesne (15-10, 5-7 A-10)

Where: A.J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

After losing back-to-back games for the first time this season, at home to Saint Joseph’s and at St. Bonaventure, men’s basketball travels to Duquesne in search of a much-needed Atlantic 10 road win.

Despite a late-game surge in Olean, N.Y. Saturday, the Colonials were edged by the Bonnies 64–57 and dropped to fifthplace in the A-10. With the loss, GW damaged its chances at an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, but still has a shot if it can finish strong in its last six games.

That stretch begins Wednesday with the Dukes in Pittsburgh, which will mark the second meeting between the two sides this year. Duquesne will be seeking revenge for a dominant, 91–64 GW victory at the Smith Center on Jan. 9.

But in the Colonials’ last visit to the Palumbo Center, they were not as fortunate. On Feb. 11, 2015 the Dukes bested GW in the Steel City behind a deadly outside-shooting effort, 78–62. That loss spurred a four-game losing streak that all but ended GW’s chances at reaching the Big Dance in the 2014–2015 campaign.

The case for the Colonials:

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh scored a career-high 30 points when his team hosted the Dukes last month, and completed a double-double with 10 rebounds. Cavanaugh leads the Colonials with an average of 16.6 points per game, while senior swingman Patricio Garino adds 13.9.

Senior forward Kevin Larsen, averaging a team-high 8.4 rebounds, also had a career performance in the Jan. 9 clash with 25 points and 11 boards. Additionally, the Colonials hit a season-best 13 three-pointers against the Dukes and received an impressive 31 points from its bench, which has struggled to produce as of late.

An inconsistent GW defense must return to form against the highest-scoring offense in the league. The Colonials, who held Duquesne’s two star guards to a combined 18 points in January, are conceding an average of 69.0 points per game to the Dukes’ 77.0, but have allowed an average of 71.2 in its last five games.

Rebounding and free-throw shooting may also prove crucial for GW. The Colonials own the third-best rebounding defense and shooting clip from the line in the A-10. In the 37-point victory last month, GW outrebounded Duquesne 50–28, and went 20-for-24 from the charity stripe.

The case for the Dukes:

Senior guards Derrick Colter and Micah Mason, averaging 18.1 and 17.3 points per game, respectively, lead a skilled offense that averages a league-leading 80.0 points per game.

The squad shoots a 40.5 percent clip from the field, third-best in the A-10, and 36.0 percent from three-point range to GW’s 34.3, which has been even more lackluster in recent games.

If Duquesne can get hot from deep like they did last year, GW could be in trouble. The team was held to just 5-of-22 at the Smith Center, but on its home floor it could be a completely different story.

The Dukes also boast one of the best assists numbers in the conference, averaging 16.0 to the Colonials’ 13.6, despite turning the ball over an average of 14.0 times per game, the second-worst giveaway numbers in the league.

While GW is favored in this game, Duquesne is no stranger to keeping contests with tough competitors close. The Dukes nearly upset No. 15 Dayton (21-3, 11-1 A-10) in Dayton last week, but fell 76–74, and have already beaten St. Bonaventure once and Saint Louis twice this season, all teams that have edged GW this year.

The bottom line:

This matchup is a perfect opportunity for GW to regain its fading momentum heading into the final A-10 stretch, but a loss could also serve as the nail in the coffin for the Colonials’ hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Dukes should not be overlooked, but if GW comes out focused and determined they will most likely capture the W.

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What: Men’s basketball (18-5, 7-3 A-10) vs. Saint Joseph’s (19-4, 8-2 A-10)

Where: Smith Center, Washington, D.C. CSN (TV)

When: Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball and its fans may still be basking in the glory of a 72–69 win against conference rival VCU (17-6, 9-1 A-10) last weekend, GW’s first ever at the Siegel Center, but the Colonials’ tough Atlantic 10 stretch continues Wednesday night.

After stringing together three straight wins for the first time since mid-December, GW looks to stay hot against a surging Saint Joseph’s squad that sits at third place in the league, one spot ahead of the Colonials.

With both sides receiving single-digit vote totals in this week’s AP Top 25 poll, and Saint Joseph’s boasting an RPI of 30 to GW’s 34, both bubble teams will be fighting hard for a crucial victory that would bolster either NCAA Tournament resume.

The Hawks have been dealt only two A-10 losses by VCU and St. Bonaventure this season, but are coming off a 22-point road win at Fordham.

“We are feeling great. I think momentum is on our side and our confidence is higher than ever,” senior swingman Patricio Garino said Tuesday. “We have a great team but at the same time we are aware that we can lose to any team in this conference at any time. We need to stay focused but live off this momentum we have.”

The case for the Colonials:

GW has scored at least 72 points in its last three games, and will need to sustain its offensive consistency to find success against a stingy Saint Joseph’s defense. The Colonials hold a slight edge in scoring, averaging 75.8 points per game to the Hawks 75.1.

Redshirt junior forward leads that effort with 16.6 points per game, followed closely by Garino who averages 13.7 and who netted a career-high 27 points at VCU. Senior forward Kevin Larsen also adds a team-best 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Solid team defense, which was on display at home last week in a commanding 10-point win over Davidson, will also be key in thwarting a dangers Hawks’ offense. GW is allowing an average of 68.5 points per game to the visitors’ 67.4.

“We have to keep doing the right thing and play the right way,” head coach Mike Lonergan said Tuesday of his team’s defensive effort. “It can’t be two or three guys at a time. It needs to be all five guys on the court. It starts with our starters and they know what is at stake.”

And as it has in most tight games this season, the ability to get to the line and convert from there may be a game-breaker. And in that category, GW has the upper-hand. The Colonials are shooting the 15th-best clip from the charity stripe in the country (75.3 percent) and have attempted 572 free throws all season, the most in the A-10.

The case for the Hawks:

Looking at GW’s 12-1 home record this season, a trip to a tightly-packed Smith Center would seem daunting to almost any visitor, but probably not the Hawks. Saint Joseph’s currently possesses the nation’s best road record: a perfect 8-0.

Superb play away from home and a hearty 19-4 overall record is largely the product of a stellar season from the Hawks’ frontcourt. Senior forward Isaiah Miles and junior forward DeAndre Bembry are averaging a team-best 17.3 and 17.0 points per game, respectively.

Miles also posts a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game, while in two career games against GW, Bembry is averaging an impressive 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.0 steals.

“Isaiah Miles is arguably the most improved player in our conference this year, definitely, and really even in all of college basketball,” Lonergan said. “His ability to shoot the ball was always there and now he is taking it to the basket more. And with [DeAndre'] Bembry they have two guys that are really potent scorers, so it is not going to be easy.”

The rebounding battle in this one could go either way, so it’s important for the Hawks to remain staunch on defense. The team does a good job at forcing bad shots, evidenced through its A-10-best field goal defense, allowing just 39.5 percent of shots by opponents fall.

The Bottom Line:

With so much on the line for both teams, this game should prove to be an extremely entertaining, yet stressful showdown for fans as each side jostles for national recognition. Expect both squads to pull out all the stops in search of a pivotal win that would assert the victor as one of the league’s best.

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Redshirt junior Tyler Cavanaugh attempts a shot in GW's win over George Mason. Cavanaugh was one of four Colonials scoring in double figures with 15 points. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Redshirt junior Tyler Cavanaugh attempts a shot in GW’s win over George Mason. Cavanaugh was one of four Colonials scoring in double figures with 15 points. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

After giving up a 10-point second-half lead, the Colonials escaped with a 76–70 victory at George Mason Sunday afternoon.

The Patriots, just 1‒6 in Atlantic 10 play entering the contest, battled all game long in front of a raucous EagleBank Arena crowd, hitting 25 field goals to GW’s 20 and winning the on the boards 47–42.

But GW, with a veteran lineup up against a Mason squad that starts three freshmen, had its experience on display late.

Senior forward Kevin Larsen sank two crucial free throws and put back a missed layup on the next offensive possession to regain a 65‒61 lead in the game’s final minutes that his team would not surrender.

“[George Mason] made a run and I thought we responded,” redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who posted 15 points and 8 rebounds Sunday, said. “We’ve got good senior leadership and we made the plays down the stretch.”

Senior swingman Patricio Garino led four GW starters who posted double-digit scoring numbers with 19 points, while Larsen added a team-best 11 rebounds en route to his eighth double-double this season.

Once again, GW’s free throw shooting proved pivotal. The team scored nearly 40 percent of its points at the line, going 30-for-36 from the stripe on the day.

“Everyone is making free throws, that’s the confidence of the team,” Garino said. “We know that if we go hard to the rim and get fouled we’re going to get two points.”

GW (16‒5, 5-3 A-10) came out strong, with Cavanaugh knocking down a triple on his team’s first possession. He and Garino would lead the Colonials with nine points each in the frame.

The Colonials jumped to an early 17–11 lead behind good shooting, but their efficiency quickly began to stagnate. The visitors went a subpar 25.7 percent from the field, but George Mason (7–14, 1-7 A-10) wasn’t much better, posting a 26.5 percent clip in the half.

Freshman guard Jordan Roland provided a spark off the bench, netting five points, the only production off the pine in the first half.

Senior forward Particio Garino slams a dunk in the Colonials' win against George Mason. Garino was on the floor for 39 minutes of play, leading GW. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Senior forward Particio Garino slams a dunk in the Colonials’ win against George Mason. Garino was on the floor for 39 minutes of play, leading GW. Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

But the Patriots battled back with a strong rebounding effort, grabbing 31 boards to GW’s 22 in the first period, and got 10 points on 12 trips to the free throw line.

Freshman guard Otis Livingston II led the charge with two threes and 10 points. Both squads went 3-for-10 from beyond the arc in the frame, but George Mason would prevail on the scoreboard, taking a 31–29 lead into halftime.

Back-to-back three-pointers from graduate student guard Alex Mitola, who led the bench on the day with eight points was part of a 10–0 GW run to open the second half.

“I think we attacked much better in the second half,” Cavanaugh said. “Alex [Mitola] stepped up big and made a couple threes and we don’t win the game without him.”

But like they did all day, George Mason bounced right back.

The Patriots shot 48.5 percent from the field and hit four critical threes in the second frame which allowed them to capture a 61–59 late-game edge.

But the Colonials refused to be rattled. Senior guard Joe McDonald, who finished with five points and three rebounds, drew a foul and hit two at the line to tie the game at 61.

Twenty-two second-half free throws would win the day as GW held on for a bounce back win to move to 16–5.

“Thank God we’re experienced because Mason did a great job and we didn’t play well offensively,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “But when we’re struggling, we get to the free throw line, that’s what we do and we made them pay.”

The Colonials return home Wednesday to host Davidson at 7 p.m.

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Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 5:43 p.m.

Preview: Men’s basketball at George Mason

Redshirt junior Tyler Cavanaugh attempts a layup in the Colonials' double-overtime loss to Richmond. With 16 points, Cavanaugh was one of five GW starters to score in double-figures. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Redshirt junior Tyler Cavanaugh attempts a layup in the Colonials’ double-overtime loss to Richmond. With 16 points, Cavanaugh was one of five GW starters to score in double-figures. Jordan McDonald | Hatchet Staff Photographer

What: Men’s basketball (15-5, 4-3 A-10) at George Mason (7-13, 1-6 A-10)
When: Sunday, Jan. 31 at noon
Where: EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Va., NBCSN (TV)

Falling to Richmond in a thrilling double-overtime contest Thursday night, the Colonials took their first loss at the Smith Center in almost a year.

But with a quick trip across the Potomac River Sunday afternoon, men’s basketball looks to get back on track after a turbulent start to conference play, which has left them tied for fourth place in the Atlantic 10.

George Mason, however, sits at the bottom of the league with just one A-10 win, and six losses, under its belt thus far. The Patriots, under the direction of new head coach Dave Paulsen, have lost two straight and are in desperate need of a spark to turn their season around.

GW holds a 14-2 edge in the all-time series between its crosstown rival and won 67-51 in its last trip to Fairfax in 2015. Sunday’s game will be the first of two meetings between the programs this year, before the Patriots visit the nation’s capital on March 1.

The case for the Colonials:

Despite allowing a season-high 98 points in its loss to the Spiders, GW’s defense will face a much less formidable offense in the Patriots. Whereas Richmond had one of the most high-powered offenses in the conference, George Mason averages the second-least amount of points in the A-10 at 65.3 per game.

The Colonials’ offense also was not quiet during Thursday’s defeat. Led by seniors Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino who had a team-high 17 points each, all five starters scored in double-figures against Richmond.

Redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh, the only GW starter the Patriots have not seen before, leads the Colonials with a team-best average of 17.0 points per game, while Larsen adds a team-high 8.2 boards per game.

The visitors are a significantly better shooting team than George Mason, which starts three freshmen guards. A more experienced, proficient GW roster seems poised to overpower its opponent from outside and in the paint and snag a crucial fifth A-10 victory.

The case for the Patriots:

While George Mason remains in somewhat of a rebuilding phase, bringing on Paulsen and six freshmen this past offseason, they have recorded a few notable wins already this season.

The Patriots won a 71-68 overtime decision over Oklahoma State on Nov. 20, while the 10-10 Cowboys went on to upset No. 3 Kansas earlier this month. On Jan. 17, the squad also took down Saint Louis 92-79 on the road, whereas GW lost to the Billikens in Chaifetz Arena just two weeks prior.

The team is led by junior guard Marquise Moore, who averages a team-high 12.6 points and 3.4 assists per game. Freshman guard Otis Livingston II and senior forward Marko Gujanicic also provide versatility on offense, despite a team field goal percentage of 41.3 percent, second-worst in the A-10.

One area of play the Patriots have dominated this year is rebounding. Six-foot-eleven-inch senior center Shevon Thompson far and away leads the league with an average of 10.2 rebounds per game, to guide an A-10-best team rebounding margin of 7.3 to GW’s second-best 6.2.

The bottom line:

George Mason will be able to keep it closer than expected if it can continue to own the glass and exploit a GW defense that may have lost some confidence after almost allowing Richmond to reach triple digits.

But this is the Colonials game to win. For a team that finished non-conference play at 11-2, but now finds itself at only 15-5, a strong response to yet another disheartening loss will be key to regaining its dwindling momentum down the stretch.

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Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 11:58 p.m.

Preview: Women’s basketball at Duquesne

This post was written by Hatchet senior staff writer Alex Kist.

What: Women’s basketball (14-3, 4-0 A-10) vs. No. 25 Duquesne (16-1, 4-0 A-10)

Where: A.J. Palumbo Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., ESPNU (TV)

When: Sunday, Jan. 17 at 12 p.m.

After cruising to its ninth straight victory against La Salle, GW heads to Pittsburgh to take on one of its top-performing league rivals.

Duquesne, which has recorded just one loss all year, is currently the team to beat in the Atlantic 10 conference. Their 15-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in the nation.

With both teams competing for the top-seed in the conference, the Sunday contest should be an entertaining battle. The Colonials and Dukes are both undefeated thus far in A-10 play as they head into their 61st all-time matchup.

When the Colonials saw the Dukes last January, they dominated in the paint and commanded the offensive glass. GW got the 83–56 victory and extended its win streak at the time to 15 games en route to an A-10 Championship trophy. Standout senior forward Jonquel Jones scored a game-high 22 points and posted 17 rebounds.

Here is what to expect from the game:

The case for the Colonials:

The Colonials have finally found balance in their offensive attack, but GW is a defensively-minded squad, averaging 52.1 rebounds per game, and will need to play to its strengths to compete with the Dukes.

Jones leads the Colonials with an average of 17.1 points and 15.2 rebounds. If the Dukes are unable to limit Jones in the paint, she could have another big game.

Junior forward Caira Washington has also contributed to GW’s success early on in games, boasting a 51.2 percent field goal percentage this season.

Graduate student guard Lauren Chase has also been solid so far this year, showcasing her versatility on the court. Chase averages 5.5 assists per game. In the 30-point victory over Hartford earlier in the season, Chase notched a 12-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

The case for the Dukes:

Duquesne has the fewest losses in the A-10 thanks to its consistency in the paint, and an explosive offense that has secured triumphs over fierce competition.

Duquesne averages a conference-high 75.4 points per game and has outscored conference opponents by 10 points or more in each game.

GW will need to keep senior guard April Robinson, who is averaging 14.6 per game and 7.7 assists per game, on its radar. Robinson received A-10 Co-Player of the Week honors on Nov. 3 after propelling her team to victory against Howard, North Carolina A&T and New Mexico. Over the three-game span, she averaged 18.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game.

The Dukes are coming off a 79–70 win over Rhode Island where Robinson scored 29 points and Amadea Szamosi posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. If the Dukes can box out and produce tight coverage against the height of the GW post players, they could achieve success on the boards.

The bottom line:

GW needs to have a seamless game, minimize turnovers and control the tempo to hand the Dukes their first conference loss. The Dukes will have to guard Jones tightly and get Robinson involved in this battle of the A-10′s best.

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Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 12:25 a.m.

Preview: Men’s basketball at Massachusetts

What: Men’s basketball (13-3, 2-1 A-10) vs. Massachusetts (8-7, 1-2 A-10)

Where: William D. Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.

Garnering a No. 20 national ranking after winning 10 of its first 11 games this season, GW went 3-2 over winter break, dropping contests at DePaul and Saint Louis.

But following the 65-62 loss to the Billikens last week, its first in Atlantic 10 play, the Colonials responded with a commanding 27-point victory over Duquesne Saturday, despite senior Joe McDonald, now listed as day-to-day, leaving the game with an eye injury.

With momentum on their side, the team travels to Amherst Tuesday night to spar with the Minutemen, who have lost two in a row and six of their last nine, in hopes of stringing together a pair of conference wins for the first time this year.

The case for the Colonials:

The frontcourt led the way for GW against the Dukes, as redshirt junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh and senior forward Kevin Larsen recorded career-highs, scoring 30 and 25 points, respectively.

Despite the Colonials’ recent slump, Cavanaugh, who has scored in double figures in all 16 games this season, has remained consistent. He leads the team with an average of 16.6 points per game, followed by senior guard Patricio Garino who puts up an average of 12.2 per game.

Larsen adds a team-high 8.1 boards and 3.0 assists per game to an offense that is averaging 38.5 rebounds per contest to Massachusetts’ 36.8. GW’s staunch defense, which ranks 74th-best in the country, also concedes just 66.6 points per game compared to 77.7 by the Minutemen’s.

Even if McDonald, who averages 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, does not play Tuesday, GW’s trio of guards off the bench in Paul Jorgensen, Alex Mitola and Matt Hart proved Saturday they are capable of picking up the slack by combining for 31 points.

The case for the Minutemen:
Senior guard Trey Davis (18.7 PPG) and sophomore guard Donte Clark (18.0 PPG) captain a high-powered Massachusetts offense averaging 77.9 points per game, fourth-best in the A-10, to GW’s 75.9.

The Minutemen hold an RPI ranking of just 135 compared to GW’s 30, but could frustrate the visitors, who are a perfect 10-0 at home but have split their four games on the road, if they are able to solve the Colonials’ defense.

Despite a stellar 75.9 percent clip from the foul line by GW, Massachusetts also holds a slight edge in three-point shooting, going 34.7 percent from beyond the arc on the season. If the Minutemen can exploit their home court advantage by slowing down the Colonials’ offense and staying hot offensively, they could pull off their first Top-100 RPI win this year.

The bottom line:
Still in search of its first conference win on the road, a big victory at Massachusetts would offer a much needed confidence boost for GW before visiting A-10 powerhouse Dayton on Friday. But the Colonials must come out focused and not overlook their opponent in a league where no win comes easily.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Marty Fenn.

On a day in which the women’s basketball team hosted over 1,000 D.C.-area students at the Smith Center, Jonquel Jones showed the younger generation just what kind of star power she possesses.

Jones poured in 19 points and added 17 rebounds with four assists, including a perfect 7-7 clip from the free throw line, in the Colonials’ 68–52 victory over Rhode Island Wednesday afternoon. The win pushed GW’s overall win streak to seven games.

“[Jonquel] had a really good mix of things today,” head coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “She finished well and got into good spots where she could work the high-low game with Caira [Washington]. I think the biggest thing for JJ moving forward is knowing how she can make some of her shots even easier, because she has so many advantages offensively.”

The Colonials (12-3, 2-0 A-10) used an 11–0 run to break open a 20–6 lead early into the second quarter, only to watch the Rams (6-8, 0-2 A-10) cut the deficit to 31–29 early into the third. However, the Colonials bit back, countering with an 18–5 run to close out the quarter, and effectively put a stamp on their 12th win of the season.

A major turning point came when the Rams were forced to send forward Samantha Tabakman to the bench for early foul trouble. This prompted coach Tsipis to switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone, forcing Rhode Island into long jumpers and contested three pointers. The rams shot just 29.4 percent from the field, and were 6-30 from beyond the arc.

“I think the zone gave us good energy, and we rebounded well out of it,” Tsipis said. “Obviously they were forced into some tough shots from three, and we were able to give JJ some time in the middle, so they couldn’t really get penetration and having Tabakman out took away from their dribble drive.”

With the defense locking things down, Jones and Washington, who scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half, and pulled down seven offensive rebounds, propelled the offense.

Washington was everywhere offensively and defensively, and stressed the importance of being in motion and getting the ball inside.

“It’s a big role of mine to keep moving and get to the glass hard whether we’re n offense or on defense,” Washington said. “When we get the ball into the post, the defense has to either play that post man or stay outside and try to guard us, so that’s why we get good looks inside.

The Colonials’ staple all year has been defense and rebounding, and they dominated on the boards again, outrebounding the Rams 55-29 and swallowing up 22 offensive rebounds. However, coach Tsipis’ team struggled to take care of the ball once again, surrendering 24 turnovers.

“Rhode Island is very aggressive in their zone and they cause a lot of deflections,” Tsipis said. “There were times when we got caught too deep in our penetration, but I think a lot of these mistakes are very fixable and we just have to make sure we’re disciplined.”

In addition to the 16-point win, Tsipis also discussed what the field trip promotion meant to the program, the players, and the kids.

“It’s important that we serve as role models, both on and off the court,” Tsipis said. “Our players have been to every one of those schools, and some of these kids may have taken pictures with our players or know their names and numbers. The team loves that, and we love the opportunities that we get to serve as role models.”

In search of their third straight A-10 victory, the Colonials face a tough test Sunday in Dayton, Ohio where they will take on the Flyers. Tip off is slated for 2 p.m.

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