Updated: Mar 31
Coming out of the half down 35-32, George Washington had to be feeling good about their chances about knocking off conference leading VCU considering they shot 39 percent from the field and and 12% from 3-point territory. That feeling didn’t last long as the second half got underway. VCU went on a 6-0 run to get things going and that set the tone for a second half surge from VCU to take control of the game.
The Colonials, thanks to four 3-pointers from the Rams reserve wing David Shriver, would see VCU go on a 23-10 run to take a 66-49 lead at the 7:21 mark.
George Washington, on the brink of being blown out in their final home game of the season, would show tremendous heart and battle back with a run of their own. Over the next 6:31 of the game, the Colonials put together a 16-2 run to cut a once 17 point deficit to three, trailing the Rams 68-65 with 50 seconds remaining.
However, that would be as close as they would get. Brandon Johns Jr dunk put VCU back up five, 70-65 and clutch free throws from Zeb Jackson and former St Frances standout Ace Baldwin closed the deal for VCU as George Washington fell in their season finale 74-68.
Hunter Dean led the Colonials with 14 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Brendan Adams finished with 14 points and 6 assists and James Bishop and Ricky Lindo Jr added 14 and 12 points respectively.
James Bishop officially became the first Colonial to lead the A-10 in scoring since SirValiant Brown in 1999-00. Bishop ends the season averaging 21.5 points per game.
VCU was led by Brandon Johns Jr, who posted a double double with a game high 17 points and 10 rebounds. David Shriver added 12 points (4-7 3FG) and Jalen DeLoach contributed 11 points and 7 rebounds.
#7 seed George Washington will face the winner of St Josephs and Loyola-Chicago this upcoming Wednesday at 5pm in the Atlantic 10 Championship which is held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Brandon John Jr:
was a grown man all game long. Truthfully, the Colonials had no answer for him. The 6'8, 240 pound forward used his strength and athleticism to score in a myriad of ways. Johns Jr scored deep in the paint, scored by driving to the cup, in transition, off lob plays and put points on the board off offensive put backs. His motor was such a factor in this game that he was mostly responsible for putting GW's entire front line of Hunter Dean, Ricky Lindo Jr and Noel Brown in foul trouble. To make things worse, Johns Jr was equally as effective on the defensive end, pulling down 10 rebounds and blocking two shots. He was the unquestioned player of the game and a HUGE reason why GW couldn't finish off their comeback with a win.
has been an issue for GW all season and it showed once again. The Colonials reserves were outscored by the Rams reserves 30-14. David Shriver, Jamir Watkins and Zeb Jackson accounted for all of VCU's points off the bench while Max Edwards, Noel Brown and Amir Harris posted all of the Colonials points off bench, eight of which came from Edwards. With the lack of scoring from the reserves, it puts more pressure on the Colonials starters to have to score consistently and efficiently for GW to pull out wins. In the upcoming A-10 Championship, it would be ideal for a reserve or two to step up and provide a spark offensively for GW. If that happens, with Bishop and Adams capable of exploding at any time, it'll change the dynamic for GW as they look to make a run for a conference championship. Stay tuned.
Free Throw Shooting:
was a big deal in this contest due to the disparity in attempts between the two teams. VCU finished the game shooting 19-27 from the line while George Washington shot 13-16. VCU, after attempting 15 free throws in the first half, attempted 12 in the second, while GW only shot 6 free throws in the second half after attempting 10 in the first half. Needless to say, two things can be right. The whistle favored VCU on many occasions, yet, the Rams were the more physical aggressive team for the majority of the contest.