Hosting preseason favorite Rhode Island, it was clear that George Washington had a tough road ahead if it hoped to walk off their home court victorious. Little did anyone know how tough it would be. Led by senior guard Jared Terrell game high 22 points and senior forward Andre Berry 17 points, GW (8-8/1-2) fell to Rhode Island (11-3/ 3-0) 81-60. Senior forward Yuta Watanabe led the Colonials with 17 points on 7-10 shooting while freshman guard Terry Nolan Jr added 13 points.
GW was overwhelmed by the physical defense of Rhode Island in the first half, where they were held to 33 percent shooting from the field and 22 percent shooting from deep while allowing the Rams to shoot 58 percent from the field and from three point territory.
The Colonials were also out scored 40-28 in the paint, 11-2 in fast break points and the Rams scored 23 points off 16 GW turnovers.
PHYSICALITY: Rhode Island took it to GW from the opening tip with a level of physicality that overwhelmed the Colonials throughout the first half. GW was held to 33 percent shooting from the field in the half while allowing the Rams to shoot 58 percent and were outscored 18-8 in the paint. The rams physical defense bothered GW into missng numerous point blank lay-ups, which added to their frustration. GW responded better in the second half but the damage was already done. Senior guard Jared Terrell and senior forward Andre Berry combined for 24 of the Rams 46 first half points on 9 - 14 shooting from the field. Sophomore point guard Jeff Dowtin dished out seven assist with no turnovers in the first half as well. Complete dominance by Rhode Island, who showed why they are the favorites to win the A-10 championship.
Rhode Island guard depth: is among the best in all of college basketball. Rams are led by senior guards E.C Matthews, Jared Terrell and sophomore point guard Jeff Dowtin. Terrell who led the charge for the Rams physically, finished with a game high 22 points on 9-12 shooting from the field and 4-5 shooting from deep, Matthews added 12 points on 6-11 shooting while Dowtin nearly finished with a double double, 9 points (3-7 FG), 9 assist and only three turnovers while also holding GW sophomore point guard Jair Bolden to 2-8 shooting on the night. Clearly they have a lethal trio leading the way, although, they're not alone. Back-up senior guard Jarvis Garrett and freshman point guard Fatts Russell all both quality guards who can fill in and impact the game when the aforementioned trio needs a break, and I didn't even include Indiana transfer, Stanford Robinson, who sat out the game with injury. Their perimeter line-up is talented, deep, versatile and hard to stop.
Punch first: is what the young Colonials will have to learn how to do quick fast and in a hurry. In a number of games this season, the Colonials have found themselves trailing double digits in the first half and looking at an uphill battle for the rest of the game. Fast start is something head coach Maurice Joseph has been preaching for all season, yet against Rhode Island, anything but a fast start happened, including a lead that grew to as much as 32 points early in the second half. GW does not have the experience, yet, and depth to allow big leads to start the game, especially against top tier and conference teams. In the second half, sparked an aggressive Watanabe (17 points), Nolan jr (13 points) and Bo Zeigler ( 10 points), GW won the half 37-35. However, if they want to win more than they lose throughout the remainder of the season, GW will have to bring that same energy and intensity for a full 40 minutes that they displayed in the second half against the Rams.
George Washington will hit the road to face Davidson, Wednesday night at 7pm.