Tenacious defense in the first half set the tone as George Washington (9-11/3-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) took down St Joseph (4-16/0-7) 85-69. The Colonials held St Joseph to 9-26 shooting from the field and 2-12 from three point territory in the first half, leading to a 21 point halftime lead that was never threatened.
Freshman guard Jameer Nelson Jr (pictured above) put on a show, finishing with a season and game high 22 points and 6 rebounds on 8 of 10 shooting from the field to lead George Washington. Senior point guard Armel Potter posted 15 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds while freshman forward Jamison Battle added 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
St Joseph junior point guard Ryan Daly scored a team high 16 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists while junior center Anthony Longpre added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Here are some takeaways from tonight's contest.
Jameer Nelson Jr: I'll say it again has some Russell Westbrook in him. To be a freshman and be as fearless and competitive as he is, it's a sight to see. Nelson Jr was relentless tonight, attacking St Joseph's guards all game long off the bounce and finishing strong in traffic, yet, it was his three point shooting that opened things up for him and GW as a whole. Nelson Jr, entering tonight's contest, was shooting 24 percent from three point range.....in tonight's win, he knocked down 3 of 4 from deep. When his jumper is falling, in addition to how he can get it done off the bounce, he becomes nearly unguardable. The next phase for Nelson Jr is making his shooting performance from tonight more consistent and lowering his turnovers. Once he becomes efficient in those areas, he has an all-conference spot waiting for him.
George Washington's Team Defense:
in the first half was what really won the game for the Colonials. The way the Colonials took away St Joe's airspace, the way they rotated for one another, switched, covered ground and rebounded was beautiful to watch. The result was they held the Hawks leading scorer Ryan Daly and third leading scorer Myles Douglas below their season average, Douglas didn't score at all in 20 minutes of action. If GW can begin putting together a full game defensively like they did in the first half of tonight's game, they are fully capable of going on a nice run to close out conference play.
just keeps on getting better and better, game by game. The 6'9 freshman posted 10 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in a win over the Hawks, however, it was his defense that caught my eye. He's already a capable rim protector but his lateral quickness is underrated. Normally when most big's end up on an island defending guards, you know it will end bad for the big. Not with Paar. St Joes guards tried their best to attack him off the bounce and most of the time, he got the stop, especially in the first half. This was huge. It forced St Joseph to go to a counter attack which they didn't do until the second half. Paar's versatility on both ends of the floor makes him a unique talent and one to keep an eye on as the season along.
George Washington will host Davidson Wednesday at 7 p.m.