Patricio Garino

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

George Washington wins first Postseason NIT title

2 Comments

Thursday night’s Postseason NIT championship matchup featured two teams, No. 1 seed Valparaiso and No. 4 seed George Washington, that began this season with hopes of playing in the NCAA tournament. Things didn’t work out as either team would have hoped, with the Crusaders falling in the Horizon League tournament and the Colonials not getting the wins needed to earn an at-large bid out of the Atlantic 10, but both had the chance to return home with a championship trophy.

And it was Mike Lonergan’s team that would accomplish that goal, pulling away in the second half to beat Valparaiso by the final score of 76-60.

Kevin Larsen led four Colonials in double figures with 18 points, with Patricio Garino adding 14 points, Joe McDonald 13, eight rebounds and four assists and tournament Most Outstanding Player Tyler Cavanaugh 12 points. Leading by one at the intermission, George Washington outscore Valparaiso 44-29 in the second half with the Crusaders struggling to make shots.

Bryce Drew’s team finished the game 8-for-28 from three, with forward Alec Peters being their lone double-digit scorer with 15 points. Valparaiso shot 39 percent from the field, and the reliance on perimeter shots was one reason why they were outscored 22-6 from the foul line. That margin was the biggest difference, and as a result George Washington is headed home with their first postseason tournament title.

The Colonials join Columbia (CIT) and Old Dominion (Vegas 16) as winners of postseason tournaments thus far. Nevada hosts Morehead State in Game 3 of the CBI Finals Friday night.

VIDEO: Saint Joseph’s erases 16-point deficit, beats George Washington

Leave a comment

Friday’s Atlantic 10 quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 seed Saint Joseph’s and No. 5 seed George Washington was an important one for both teams, with the Hawks looking to sew up an NCAA tournament bid and the Colonials having work to do to get into the conversation. Mike Lonergan’s team led by as many as 16 points and appeared well on their way to an important résumé-boosting victory.

However DeAndre Bembry and the Hawks turned things around, rallying back for an 86-80 win over the Colonials. As a result Saint Joseph’s will play top seed Dayton in Saturday’s semifinals, and George Washington in all likelihood is now headed to the Postseason NIT.

Saint Joseph’s outscored George Washington 51-31 in the second half, with Bembry finishing the game with 21 points, Shavar Newkirk 19 and three other Hawks scoring in double figures as well. Joe McDonald led six Colonials in double figures with 15 points, and Kevin Larsen just missed out on a triple-double as he accounted for ten points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

VIDEO: George Washington blows past La Salle

Leave a comment

Getting quality wins is very important this time of year for teams on the NCAA tournament bubble, but so is avoiding bad losses at all costs. George Washington faced that scenario Sunday afternoon as they hosted La Salle on NBC Sports Network. But the Explorers already owned upset wins over No. 15 Dayton and St. Bonaventure (both in Philadelphia), which undoubtedly got the attention of Mike Lonergan’s Colonials.

George Washington was ready to play from the outset, taking control early on in a game they’d go on to win by the final score of 90-50. Tyler Cavanaugh led the way for George Washington with 22 points and Patricio Garino added 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Jordan Price led La Salle with 17 points, but he was the only Explorer who managed to get anything going offensively at the Smith Center.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 North Carolina fall on the road

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE DAY: Fresno State 111, UNLV 104 (2OT)

The Bulldogs outlasted the Runnin’ Rebels in Fresno, needing two extra sessions to do so. Marvelle Harris led the way with 37 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover, with Julien Lewis scoring 18 points off the bench and forward Cullen Russo adding 17 points and ten boards. As for UNLV, five of the six players who scored reached double figures with Patrick McCaw (16 rebounds) scoring 28 points and Ike Nwamu 27.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 

No. 9 Virginia 64, Pittsburgh 50: Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers won their sixth straight game, and in each of their last three wins Virginia has held their opponent to 50 points or fewer. Pittsburgh shot just 39.1 percent on the day against Virginia’s pack line defense, and on the other end Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes combined to score 35 points.

No. 3 Villanova 72, No. 11 Providence 60: The Wildcats once again played without the injured Daniel Ochefu, and once again they took care of business. Villanova limited the Friars to 19 first half points, and Darryl Reynolds (19 points, ten rebounds), Josh Hart (14 and 13) and Kris Jenkins (ten and ten) all posted double-doubles in leading a dominant effort on the glass. Ben Bentil scored 20 points for the Friars but Kris Dunn struggled, scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committing six turnovers.

No. 4 Maryland 72, No. 18 Purdue 61: Trailing by four with just under six minutes remaining, the Terrapins went on a 9-0 to take control of the game in College Park. Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points and grabbed ten rebounds and Robert Carter Jr. added 19 and seven caroms for the Terps, who remain a game behind Iowa and Indiana in the Big Ten standings. And they can thank their refocus on the defensive end for the comeback.

No. 14 West Virginia 80, No. 15 Baylor 69: The Mountaineers didn’t force many turnovers, but they managed to win in impressive fashion nonetheless. Daxter Miles Jr. led four WVU players in double figures with 20 points and Jaysean Paige added 17 off the bench for Bob Huggins’ team, which is now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12. King McClure and Ishmail Wainwright scored 11 apiece to lead the way offensively for Baylor.

BUBBLE BANTER: No. 25 South Carolina, George Washington pick up big wins

STARRED

Patricio Garino, George Washington: Garino scored 27 points, shooting 11-for-16 from the field, in a 72-69 win at VCU.

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes scored 29 points, shooting 8-for-10 from three, in the Spartans’ 16-point win at Michigan.

Jamal Murray, Kentucky: 35 points on 13-for-21 shooting and six rebounds in the Wildcats’ 80-61 win over Florida.

STRUGGLED

Kris Dunn, Providence: Dunn was the focal point of Villanova’s defensive efforts and it showed, as he scored 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting and had more turnovers (six) than assists (four) in the 72-60 defeat.

Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen, Florida: Chiozza and Allen combined to shoot 2-for-14 from the field, scoring six points in a 19-point loss at No. 20 Kentucky.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Who wants to be number one? A new team will likely take the top spot Monday, as No. 1 Oklahoma fell 80-69 at Kansas State. Wesley Iwundu led the way with 22 points, seven assists and some good defense on Buddy Hield. Hield scored 23 points but did so on 7-for-16 shooting as the Sooners had issues both offensively and defensively in Manhattan.
  • No. 6 Xavier scored 55 second half points, erasing a four-point halftime deficit to beat Marquette 90-82. Three Musketeers scored at least 20 points on the day, with Trevon Bluiett scoring 23 and Edmond Sumner and J.P. Macura 20 apiece. Henry Ellenson led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and seven rebounds, with Haanif Cheatham adding 21 points.
  • No. 7 Kansas took care of business as expected in Fort Worth, beating TCU 75-56. Perry Ellis led the way with 23 points and ten rebounds, with Devonte’ Graham adding 15 points, and the Jayhawks did a far better job on the glass than they did against Kansas State midweek.
  • No. 8 Texas A&M lost for the third time in the last four games, this time falling at home to No. 25 South Carolina 81-78. Sindarius Thornwell finished with 25 points, six rebounds and nine assists and Michael Carrera added 20 for the Gamecocks, who shot 52.6 percent from the field.
  • Bryn Forbes hit seven first-half three pointers as No. 10 Michigan State took care of Michigan, 89-73. Forbes finished with 29 points and Denzel Valentine added 21, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Spartans.
  • No. 13 Iowa State, playing without the suspended Jameel McKay, rebounded from a slow start to beat Oklahoma State 64-59 in Stillwater. Georges Niang led a balanced scoring effort with 18 points while also grabbing nine rebounds.
  • No. 19 Louisville played its first game since announcing their self-imposed postseason ban, and without the injured Damion Lee (bruised knee) they took care of ACC cellar dweller Boston College 79-47. Trey Lewis scored 16 points and Deng Adel, who replaced Lee in the starting lineup, tallied 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • No. 20 Kentucky rebounded from its disappointing collapse at Tennessee with an 80-61 win over Florida in Lexington. Jamal Murray scored 20 of his 35 points in the first half and Tyler Ulis added 18 points and 11 assists.
  • No. 21 Wichita State had two streaks come to an end in its 58-53 loss at Illinois State: their 12-game win streak this season, and a 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games. Paris Lee scored 19 points and Deontae Hawkins added 14 for the Redbirds, who outscored Wichita State 22-9 from the foul line.
  • No. 23 Arizona became the third Pac-12 team to sweep a road trip in league play this season, winning 77-72 at Washington. The Wildcats, who join Oregon and Utah for the road sweep distinction, were led offensively by Ryan Anderson who finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
  • No. 24 Dayton moved into a tie for first in the Atlantic 10 as they blew out George Mason, 98-64. Charles Cooke led five Flyers in double figures with 24 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists, and as a team Dayton shot 62.9 percent from the field.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Memphis rebounded from a disappointing effort against UConn Thursday night, beating Cincinnati 63-59 at home. Shaq Goodwin and Dedric Lawson both posted lines of 20 points and 11 rebounds for the winners.
  • Temple avoided what would have been a damaging loss on the road, holding off UCF 62-60 in Orlando. Mark Williams scored 16 points off the bench and starter Quenton DeCosey added 15 for the Owls.
  • Florida State has now won four straight games, as they won 91-71 at Wake Forest. With the recent Louisville news, the Seminoles could be one bubble team that finds a way to benefit.
  • Stony Brook moved to 11-0 in America East play with a 91-73 win at UMass-Lowell. Jameel Warney finished with 24 points and 14 boards.
  • Duke beat NC State 88-80 in Durham, doing so after the Wolfpack mounted a rally to tie the game in the second half. Grayson Allen scored 28 points and Luke Kennard 26 for the Blue Devils, who welcomed head coach Mike Krzyzewski back to the sidelines after he missed their game at Georgia Tech due to illness.
  • San Diego State remained undefeated in Mountain West play (11-0) with a 78-71 overtime win over New Mexico. A Malik Pope three pointer in the final seconds of regulation forced overtime, and from there the Aztecs took control. Following the game, the conference admitted that the Lobos were victims of a botched call late in regulation.
  • North Dakota handed Weber State its second defeat in Big Sky play, beating the Wildcats 78-71. Geno Crandall led five North Dakota players in double figures with 21 points.
  • Valparaiso moved to 20-4 on the season with a 73-55 win at UIC. Bryce Drew’s Crusaders limited the Flames to 32-8 percent shooting on the day.
  • North Texas scored 50 second-half points, erasing a ten-point halftime deficit to beat Louisiana Tech 80-69. Deckie Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Mean Green.
  • BYU suffered a loss that won’t help their NCAA tournament hopes, falling at home 77-72 to Pacific.
  • In Colorado State’s 76-67 win over Nevada, forward Emmanuel Omogbo grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds.
  • Chattanooga moved to 10-1 in the SoCon with a 62-54 win over Furman. Matt McCall’s Mocs currently have a two-game lead on both Mercer and East Tennessee State.
  • Antonio Blakeney scored 31 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench and Keith Hornsby added 25 points as LSU beat Mississippi State 88-77. With Saturday’s results LSU is now in sole possession of first place in the SEC.
  • Wyoming shot an incredible 20-for-38 from three in their 84-65 win over Utah State. The Cowboys are the second team to make 20 three-pointers in a game this season, joining North Florida.
  • Speaking of the Ospreys, they were handed their second conference loss of the season by FGCU. The Eagles won 81-65, dropping UNF (7-2) into a tie for first in the Atlantic Sun with Jacksonville.
  • Seton Hall continued its march towards and NCAA tournament berth, beating Georgetown 69-61. Angel Delgado led the way with 19 points and 13 boards for Seton Hall, which won despite Isaiah Whitehead shooting 3-for-15.
  • Montana moved into first place in the Big Sky with an 82-80 win over Portland State. The Grizzlies are 9-2, with Weber State a half-game back at 8-2.
  • Hawai’i moved into a tie for first place in the Big West by winning 75-60 at Cal Poly. Eran Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors are now 7-1, and they host UC Irvine in a battle for sole possession of first place Thursday night.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Showdowns in the Atlantic 10, MAAC

Associated Press
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: George Washington at Dayton, 7:00 p.m.

With both St. Bonaventure and VCU atop the Atlantic 10 standings with 4-0 league records, this is a big matchup for contenders George Washington and Dayton as both enter this game 3-1. The Flyers rebounded from a disappointing effort in their loss at La Salle with a win over Davidson earlier this week, with Scoochie Smith leading a balanced offensive attack with 18 points and four assists.

The key for Dayton is turnovers, more specifically the unforced errors that occur a little too often for Archie Miller’s liking. George Washington has one of the top defenders in the country in senior Patricio Garino, and their 1-3-1 zone can be a tough task for opponents to attack. It should be noted that GW guard Joe McDonald will miss his second straight game due to an eye injury.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Monmouth at Iona, 9:00 p.m.

The preseason favorite to win the MAAC hosts the team that boasts the conference’s best overall résumé in New Rochelle. Iona’s dealt with injuries (Shadrac Casimir’s done for the season, A.J. English just returned) and the departure of Kelvin Amayo, but others have stepped forward and as a result Tim Cluess’ team sits atop the MAAC standings. One game behind them in the loss column are the Hawks, who have won eight of their last nine games. The two frontrunners for MAAC Player of the Year will be on the same court with English and Monmouth’s Justin Robinson being those players. Both teams can put points on the board, but which one can string together the stops needed to get the win?

OTHER GAMES OF NOTE

  • Akron visits Toledo (7:00 p.m.) in a MAC crossover game, with the Zips among three teams tied atop the MAC East at 2-1 and the Rockets 1-2 in the MAC West. Tod Kowalczyk’s team needs to hold serve, as they’re already two games behind a Northern Illinois (3-0 MAC West) team they lost to Tuesday night.
  • Illinois State hosts Evansville (9:00 p.m.) in a matchup of teams hoping to make a run at Wichita State in the Missouri Valley. The talented tandem of D.J. Balentine and Egidijus Mockevicius lead the way for the Purple Aces, but the Redbirds have an all-MVC candidate of their own in Devaughn Akoon-Purcell.

FRIDAY’S REMAINING SCHEDULE

  • Albany at Maine, 12:00 p.m.
  • Siena at Quinnipiac, 7:00 p.m.
  • Niagara at Fairfield, 7:00 p.m.
  • Canisius at Manhattan, 7:00 p.m.

WATCH LIVE: George Washington hosts Fordham on NBCSN

Associated Press
Leave a comment

The second half of the NBC Sports Network doubleheader tips off at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, as the Fordham Hawks head south to take on George Washington in the nation’s capital. The game can also be watched on line via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Mike Lonergan’s Colonials are off to an 11-2 start to the season, and prior to their loss at De Paul they were ranked in the AP Top 25. George Washington has one of the Atlantic 10’s best front court rotations, with seniors Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino being joined by Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh (the team’s leading scorer) and sophomore Yuta Watanabe.

Fordham is off to a surprising 9-2 start under first-year head coach Jeff Neubauer, but this game represents their biggest challenge to date. Ryan Rhoomes has been high productive in the front court for the Rams, who also have one of the A-10’s top freshmen in guard Joseph Chartouny.

To watch the game on NBC Sports Live Extra, click here.