Colonials Advance to NIT Title Game

George Washington will face Valparaiso at 7 p.m. Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Tyler Cavanaugh
Tyler Cavanaugh drives to the basket during GW's win over San Diego State. He and the Colonials will play Valparaiso at 7 p.m. Thursday in the NIT title game. (Athletics Communications)
March 30, 2016

Competing in the National Invitation Tournament semifinal action for the first time in program history, the George Washington University men's basketball team easily dispatched San Diego State 65-46 Tuesday night in New York City and claimed a spot in the tournament's championship game.

The Colonials will play Valparaiso at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN. GW will provide bus transportation to the game in New York City. Information is available online.

Playing at the Garden for the first time, New York native Tyler Cavanaugh led GW with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double in four NIT games.

This night belonged to GW. The Colonials never trailed in the game, and they led by as many as 20 points before cruising to the 19-point victory.

The Aztecs had won its first three NIT games by an average of 15.5 points. But the Colonials defense held the Aztecs to 29 percent (17 of 59) shooting in the contest, 3 of 22 from behind the three-point line. GW also forced 11 turnovers that led to a 15-3 advantage in points off miscues.

GW led 35-20 at the half despite shooting at 39 percent from the field. San Diego State was limited to 24 percent shooting in the first half. In the second half, GW found its shooting stroke, connecting on 12 of 25 shots after intermission.

As did the Colonials, Mr. Cavanaugh found his range in the second half, shooting a perfect 4 of 4 from the field, all of them seemingly big shots.

In the penultimate game of his collegiate career, Patricio Garino also scored in double figures for the Colonials with 13 points on 6 of 12 shooting.

Joe McDonald contributed a game high six assists with zero turnovers. Overall, the Colonials turned the ball over just six times for the game.