GW defeats Fordham, plays St. Louis Thursday night at Capital One Arena in D.C.
The George Washington University men’s basketball team dispatched Fordham in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament 78 – 72 Wednesday night at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., and will face sixth-seeded St. Louis Thursday night.
The game against St. Louis tips at 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on NBCSP.
The victory was the Colonials fifth straight opening game win in the A-10 tournament.
The GW win came with balanced scoring that saw five players score in double figures and a dominant advantage on the boards, with GW outrebounding Fordham 39-22, including 14-5 on the offensive boards.
Sophomore Arnaldo Toro was critical in both efforts with his game high 15 rebounds (five offensive). He also scored 11 points. Graduate student transfer Bo Zeigler, not wanting to see his career end, scored all 16 of his points in only 11 minutes of play in the second half. Mr. Zeigler also snared five rebounds. Overall, in the second half alone, GW doubled-up Fordham in rebounding, 20-10.
The Colonials led by a point at halftime after rallying from a 12-point deficit with just over six minutes left in the first half. After GW climbed back, the second half was a relatively even affair as the final margin represented GW’s biggest lead of the night in a contest that featured 16 ties and 11 lead changes.
Powered by Mr. Zeigler, the Colonials’ bench did yeoman’s work. Freshman Maceo Jack also contributed 10 points in 18 minutes in a supporting role to help the Colonials bench outscore the Rams’ reserves 26-14.
Sophomore Jair Bolden finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting (4-of-8 from three-point range), while Yuta Watanabe finished with 12 points and two blocks after being named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.
Fordham limited Mr. Watanabe to just eight shots after the Japanese superstar torched the Rams for a career-high 31 points on Senior Night last Wednesday.
The Colonials finished making 50.9 percent of their shots from the floor and shot 52 percent from the floor in the second half while holding Fordham to 44 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes of the game.
Fordham was led by Joseph Chartouny’s 18 points and game-high eight assists. GW freshman Justin Mazzulla had a team-high seven assists in his starting role.
On Thursday night, GW will look to avenge a 62-53 loss at Saint Louis less than two weeks ago on Feb. 24 in the teams’ only previous meeting this season.