Senior guard Matt Hart and Grad Student Tyler Cavanaugh were honored pregame in their last home game
It was an ideal outcome on senior night for GW guard Matt Hart and grad student Tyler Cavanaugh. Hosting conference leading Dayton Flyers in their last home, the Colonials, led by inspired efficient performances from Hart and Cavanaugh, knocked off Dayton 87-81 in front of a packed Smith Center. The senior duo shot 8-11 from three and combined for 40 of GW's 87 points.
If the outcome was ideal than the start was even more something that people would only believe if it was written in a script. GW led by an unconscious Cavanaugh (19 first half points, 7-11 FG/ 5-6 3FG), exploded out the gate offensively hitting their first nine shots of the game to take a 21-5 lead. Dayton as expected made their run. Forward Kendall Pollard went to work inside (15 first half points, 5-6 FG) to help the Flyers regroup and get back into the game as they cut the lead to ten, trailing GW 34-24 at the five minute mark. The Colonials responded with a 16-9 run to go into halftime leading 50-33.
Cavanaugh and Josh Cunningham battle for the rebound
Flyers beast up front Kendall Pollard dunks one home on his way to a team high 24 points
GW knowing how dangerous Dayton is came out of the half with the same energy as when they started the game. This time, it was junior forward Yuta Watanabe holding things down offensively. Watanabe scored 9 early second half points to keep the Colonials out in front with a 66-50 lead. As expected, the Flyers responded as a top team normally does. Down 70-51 after Jair Bolden's 3-pointer, the Flyers went on a 17-4 run to cut the lead to six 74-68 behind the hot 3-point shooting of forward Xeyrius Williams, who after going scoreless in the first half, went off for 17 second half points on 6-9 shooting from the field and 5-8 shooting from deep. GW just refused to lose on this night as they took the blow but came back with some punches of their own as guards Jaren Sina and Jair Bolden ( 12 points) along with Cavanaugh shot 6-7 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the big win, GW's fifth straight.
Yuta Watanabe as usual, did it all in GW's big win
Dayton forward Xeyrius Williams exploded in the second half with 17 points
Cavanaugh finished with a game high 30 points and 8 rebounds,Watanabe added 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assist while Bolden and Hart posted 12 and 10 points respectively. Pollard paced Dayton with 24 points and 6 rebounds while Charles Cook and Scoochie Smith both added 10 points each.
GW wrapped up the sixth seed in the conference and await the winner of St Louis/ Duquesne in this weeks upcoming A-10 Conference Tournament.