In basketball as in life, little things add up to big things. Fundamental skills may not make the highlights, although, more often times than not, they're the main reasons for wins and losses. Offensive rebounding and not communicating on defense in crunch time were the main reasons why George Washington fell to Siena 69-61 despite sophomore guards Justin Mazzulla and Terry Nolan Jr. combining for 35 points and 17 rebounds.
The Colonials took care of the ball only turning it over eight times, they outscored Siena 30-18 in the paint and shot 44 percent from three point territory, however, they couldn’t retake the lead to secure their first win of the season. GW gave up 16 offensive rebounds which resulted in 18 second chance points for Siena and if you add in shooting 38 percent (13-34) from deep, it created enough separation for which the Colonials couldn’t overcome.
Mazzulla posted a career high 18 points and 8 rebounds, Nolan Jr added 17 points and 9 rebounds while junior forward Arnaldo Toro finished with a near double double posting 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Freshman guard Jalen Pickett paced Siena with a good all-around performance with a game high 19 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds while redshirt senior forward Kevin Degnan added 15 points on 5-6 shooting from deep and 8 rebound.
George Washington –
Terry Nolan Jr –
Had a strong performance against Siena. Known more for his two way impact and ability to score slashing to the basket, Nolan Jr brought something new to the table this season, an improved jumper. Nolan Jr scored 17 points on 4 of 7 shooting from deep. He knocked them down on the move, spot up and off the bounce. And it wasn’t just that he took those shots without hesitation, it was also when he took those shots, for example with the clock winding down and he calmly knocked down the triple. Nolan Jr is currently shooting 42 percent from 3-point territory this season, if he can continue this efficient shooting it will be huge for opening the floor up for GW throughout the season.
Justin Mazzulla (Pictured Above) – Is much improved this season averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds on 54 percent shooting. Against Siena, he played an inspired brand of basketball playing both point and shooting guard throughout the game, finishing with a career high in points with 18. Yet what turned out to be most impressive was how he handled Siena’s full court press, only turning the ball over once. Mazzulla versatility is his greatest weapon and it’s clear GW head coach Maurice Joseph trust him a lot. The next step is getting the most out of his teammates and with this new group of Colonials, it’s a must if they want to be on the winning side as the season rolls on.
Jalen Pickett –
A freshman point guard that’s savvy beyond his years. Pickett was the constant for Siena that GW never quite found an answer for. He knocked down shots, found teammates in prime scoring position while only committing one turnover in 35 minutes. Outstanding efficiency, especially for a freshman. As he gains experience, the production and impact will only increase. A player to definitely keep an eye on.
Kevin Degnan – This 6’9 forward won’t outjump and outrun you, but if you aren’t careful, he will outplay you. Degnan was the x-factor in the game due to his high I.Q and 3- point shooting. Whenever GW made a run and appeared ready to take the lead, Degnan would get loose and knock down a back breaking triple. He’s hard for big men to deal with due to his strength being perimeter shooting and naturally, big men are more familiar defending near the paint. Along with his shooting, Degnan will mix it up for rebounds as he grabbed eight against GW. Unconventional but a productive big for the Saints.