Yuta Watanabe finished with an efficient 14 point, 4 assist effort but his defense stole the show
George Washington returned home for the first time in three weeks to host dangerous Davidson in a key conference battle. The Colonial's was looking to right the ship after dropping their last contest on the road at St Joseph's 68-63 after allowing a run late in the game. GW didn't have such problems as they defeated Davidson 73-69, improving to 9-6 (1-1) on the season.
Four Colonials scored in double figures led by forward Tyler Cavanaugh's 20 points on 6 of 9 shooting, however it was the team's defense, especially from forward Yuta Watanabe (14 points, 4 assist) individual effort on the Wildcats leading scorer Jack Gibbs that stole the show. GW held Davidson to 39 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent from 3-point territory for the game, led by Watanabe's inspiring defense on Gibbs who came in fifth in the nation in scoring at 22.9 points per game. Gibbs totaled 16 points on 7 of 19 shooting with most of his points coming late in the second half. Watanabe all around effort didn't go unnoticed by head coach Maurice Joseph.
" He was the reason we won the game. He wanted to guard Jack Gibbs tonight, he want's to challenge himself in that sense. For a 6'9 kid wanting to do that, running around knowing he's going to be fatigued, knowing he's going to be tired, no one wants to do that, but he relishes in the challenge. That's impressive."
GW jumped out to a 7-2 lead early and controlled the game most of the way (37:42), before Davidson led by Gibbs, sensing the game slipping away, made a late run that came up short thanks to four clutch free throws from point guard Jaren Sina (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assist) in the final 26 seconds to ice the game. While limiting Davidson offensively, the Colonials played efficiently all night. GW shot 49 percent from the field and an astonishing 61 percent (11-18) from deep for the game.
Jordan Roland continued his double digit scoring streak with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting while freshman forward Arnaldo Toro added 5 points and 6 rebounds. Junior forward Peyton Aldridge paced the Wildcats with 20 points and a game high 9 rebounds, center Will Magarity added 12 points and 7 rebounds while junior guard Rusty Reigel contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds.
George Washington next will host Richmond Sunday at noon while the 7-6 Davidson will travel to take on St Louis Sunday at 2pm.
GW sophomore guard Jordan Roland extended his double digit scoring streak to six after scoring 13 points
Wildcats center Will Magarity was a presence all night inside
Tyler Cavanaugh continued his consistent play posting 20 points and 6 rebounds
Davidson's leading scorer Jack Gibbs finished with 16 points but struggled shooting the ball