Great battle between Colonial forward Tyler Cavanaugh (18 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assist) and Bulldog center Enuoma Ebinum (20 points, 9 rebounds)
During George Washington's media day, forward Tyler Cavanaugh mentioned an excitement to finally "beat up on someone else," visiting Bowie State had other plans, as they came out swinging hard and often putting GW on the ropes in the first half. However, the Colonials regrouped in the second half behind the tenacious play of Cavanaugh and junior forward Yuta Watanabe (19 points and 8 rebounds) to defeat Bowie State 86-80.
In the first game under head coach Maurice Joseph and without the now graduated Joe McDonald, Patricio Garino and Kevin Larsen, one of the most decorated classes in Colonial history, GW faithful were eager to see the new look team. At the start, GW's play gave cause for concern and that was due to the play of Bowie State. Led by the inspired play of center Enuoma Ebinum, who posted 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting and grabbed 6 rebounds in the first half, Bowie State took a 44-35 lead over George Washington at the half. The Bulldogs shot 58 percent from the field while holding the Colonials to 37 percent in the half. Second half, GW turned things around. Junior forward Yuta Watanabe and freshman center Collin Smith (16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks) combined to score 33 of the Colonials 51 points in the second half to finish off the feisty Bulldogs.
Bowie State senior guard Brian Kelley was unconscious off the bench finishing with 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting
"I loved the fact that we were forced to figure out how we were going to respond," said GW head coach Maurice Joseph. "We have a young team, a lot of young guys who never played before that we have to rely on for us to be good. This was a great first example of what happens when you come out flat." Colonial forward Tyler Cavanaugh echoed his coach analysis of the game. " We're a young team, so each opportunity we have to step out there is important," said Cavanaugh. "They punched us in the mouth but I think we responded well to come out in the second half, and that was good."
GW next will host the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore Friday November 11th at 7 p.m.
Yuta Watanabe came up big with 19 points and 8 rebounds
Freshman center Collin Smith was the x-factor for GW in the win