Grad Student Tyler Cavanaugh posted a career high 33 points in leading GW to a inspiring win over St Bonaventure
Following a gut wrenching loss to VCU, the Colonials hosted St Bonaventure, a solid team featuring a deadly back court in Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. Adams (21.4 ppg) and Mobley (19.8 ppg) are ranked first and fourth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring while Adams also leads the A-10 in assist (6.2). Needless to say, the Bonnies posed a great test to the resolve of GW, they rose to the challenge. GW led by career performances from Tyler Cavanaugh (33 points and 10 rebounds) and Jaren Sina (22 points and 7 rebounds) defeated St. Bonaventure 76-70.
Sina set the tone early, scoring 7 of the Colonials first 18 points as GW held a 18-11 lead early. St Bonaventure would respond behind David Andoh's (20 points) timely shooting to keep it close, however the Bonnies faced a couple of determined GW upperclassmen who dominated offensively and defensively. Tyler Cavanaugh was unstoppable, scoring 19 first half points to lead the way on offense while Yuta Watanabe suffocated Adams defensively, holding the Bonnies dangerous floor general to 5 points on 0-6 shooting in the first half as GW held a 42-29 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, the Colonials continued their efficient play offensively led by Cavanaugh to take a 51-36 lead at the 13:58 mark. Just when it appeared GW had things under control, St. Bonaventure made their run. Adams while still struggling from the field, attacked at will and either got to the line where he shot 9 of 9 or made plays for others with 7 second half assist, while junior guard Idris Taqqee and Andoh scored a combined 22 points in the second half to cut GW's lead to one at 64-63. George Washington responded behind Cavanaugh, Sina, and Watanabe clutch shooting from the field and stripe to end the game on a 12-7 run, securing their 13th win of the
A-10 leading scorer Jaylen Adams struggled from the field but still managed 19 points and a game high 11 assist
Jaren Sina shot lights out for the game, posting 22 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field 5 of 8 shooting from deep
Senior forward provided a huge spark off the bench with 20 points and 6 rebounds
"Down the stretch, your upperclassman have to make plays," said Cavanaugh. "We knew they were going to make a run, they’re a very great team. So Jaren had a big three and Yuta made a great pass to me underneath and I was able to finish and we just stuck it out. That’s huge."
"I mean, the biggest thing is when you have a player like Tyler, in a situation like that, just get the ball in the post and let him work." said Jaren Sina regarding the lead shrinking to one point late. "He shot 14 free throws, so in a situation like that it’s the easiest way honestly. Just get the ball in the post and I think we did a pretty good job of that.
"We threw some junk at them a little bit," said GW Head Coach Maurice Joseph. "Obviously, we had that triangle and two which confused them some. We also played straight up man and really blitzed them on the ball screens to get them out of their groove. The biggest thing with them too is that you can’t let them get comfortable. If they get going early, it’s going to be a long night for you. So we did a good job of making sure they weren’t comfortable, and it was evident by them not shooting the ball well. But I credit guys like Jair who stepped up to the plate and did a great job defensively. I credit guys like Yuta, who’s been doing it his entire career guarding small guards and all-conference type guys. He’s just a warrior, and his offensive production kind of suffers for that because he’s fatigued but he doesn’t care. It’s all about team, it’s all about giving whatever he has, it’s all about emptying his tank, and he did that tonight. I’m proud of our guys, I really am.
Freshman center Collin Smith finished with a near double double with 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks while junior forward Yuta Watanabe added 6 points and 6 assist while holding Adams to 2-13 shooting from the field and 1-10 shooting from 3-FG. Despite his shooting woes, Adams posted 19 points (14-15 FT) and 11 assist while Taqqee added 15 points. Matt Mobley struggled as well, posting 6 points and 7 rebounds on 1-8 shooting from the field.
Next GW will hit the road to take on Davidson Wednesday at 7pm.