What: Men’s basketball (17-8, 7-5 A-10) vs. Davidson (17-6, 8-4 A-10)
When: Feb. 18, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Where: Smith Center
Following their first loss at home in nearly a year in a 79-66 loss to VCU on Saturday, the Colonials will try to turn things around Wednesday night when they host Atlantic 10 newcomer Davidson.
The high-scoring Wildcats sit one spot ahead of GW at fifth place in the conference. The teams will meet Wednesday for the first of two games in 10 days. GW has lost four of its last five and will look to snap a two-game skid, while Davidson will roll in riding a three-game win streak.
With head coach Mike Lonergan considering line-up changes to get GW out of its recent slump and the top spots in the A-10 still up for grabs, both the Colonials and the Wildcats will be hungry for a win.
The case for Davidson:
Despite low scoring league-wide this year, Davidson has the fourth-highest-scoring offense in nation. Leading the A-10 with an average of 81.3 points per game to GW’s 67.4, the Wildcats will present the Colonials’ defense with an even tougher test than VCU.
Senior guard Tyler Kalinoski leads the Wildcats averaging 16.5 points per game and a 43.4 percent clip from three. Junior guards Brian Sullivan and Jordan Barham follow Kalinoski, and the three combined for 83 points in Davidson’s last two wins.
Davidson is also averaging an A-10 best 40.2 percent three-point shooting percentage and 17.3 assists per game, sixth-most in the country. Defensively, GW may have an edge, but the Wildcats are currently out-rebounding the Colonials on the defensive boards 25.5 to 24.5.
The case for GW:
While the Colonials’ defense conceded a whopping 157 points in the last two losses, the team is still allowing an average of 61.1 points per game, fourth-best in the A-10 and 65th in the country.
Davidson will also most likely be without sophomore Jack Gibbs, who suffered a slight meniscus tear during a loss to Richmond last month. Gibbs was averaging 15.8 points per game and a team-high 4.9 assists before he was injured.
GW is averaging 36.9 offensive rebounds to Davidson’s 36.3, but will also need smart ball movement and efficient shooting to hold serve with the Wildcats’ 47.5 percent field goal shooting percentage.
After a demoralizing stretch for GW, it will be interesting to see how Lonergan shakes things up with the starting five and if it works. If not, the Colonials will have one more chance when they travel to Davidson for a rematch on Feb. 28.