GW heads to Richmond for 90th all-time meeting with Spiders

Courtesy of GWSports.com

RICHMOND, Va. – George Washington men’s basketball will face the Richmond Spiders for the 90th all-time time meeting on Wednesday when the Colonials visit the Robins Center for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.

GW and Richmond are two of four teams (Charlotte, Saint Joseph’s) currently tied for eighth place in the Atlantic 10 standings at 6-6 in league play with four league games remaining. The top 12 teams in the final 16-team league standings qualify for the 2013 A-10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 14-17.

GW head coach Mike Lonergan enters Wednesday’s game one victory shy of 400 for his 20-year coaching career (399-189). Lonergan trails only Temple’s Fran Dunphy (463) and La Salle’s Dr. John Giannini (435) as the A-10’s winningest head coaches.

Wednesday’s game will be the lone meeting this season between GW and Richmond, who have played a home-and-home series in 10 of the last 11 years. GW swept Richmond for the first time since 2007 last season, posting an 83-65 victory in the district on Jan. 18 before coming from behind for a 69-67 win at the Robins Center on Feb. 11. Trailing 62-55 with 4:13 to play in that game, GW scored on five straight possessions during an 11-2 run for a 66-64 lead with 1:16 to play and converted three late free throws for the win.

Freshman forward Kevin Larsen was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week on Monday after helping the Colonials to a split of two games last week by averaging 12.0 points on 50 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He set a new career-high with 15 points in Wednesday’s 68-60 home win over Fordham, then added nine points and team-highs of six rebounds, three assists and two blocks in Saturday’s 71-59 loss at Saint Joseph’s. Larsen joins teammate Joe McDonald (Nov. 19) as an A-10 Rookie of the Week award recipient this season.

Senior Lasan Kromah has made the most of his four opportunities against the Spiders, averaging 17.0 points on 55 percent shooting (29-53), 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals. His 68 total points in four games against UR have been anchored by a pair of career-high 25-point performances – one in his freshman season in 2009-10, and the other in an 83-65 triumph at the Smith Center in January 2012.

Forward Isaiah Armwood enters Wednesday’s game second in the A-10 and 27th nationally with 2.4 blocks per game. His 61 total blocks are the third most in a single-season in program history, trailing only Jaason Smith’s 62 in 2001-02 and Yinka Dare’s 84 in 1992-93.

Richmond defeated Fordham, 72-55, in Bronx, N.Y., on Saturday for its second straight victory. The Spiders had a week off to prepare for the Rams following an 83-80 win over St. Bonaventure at the Robins Center on Feb. 16. The win over the Bonnies marked the Spiders’ fifth in six A-10 home games and 13th victory in 15 games at the Robins Center this season.

Deion Taylor scored 12 points in 17 minutes off the bench to pace four double-digit scorers in Richmond’s 17-point win at Fordham on Saturday. Kendall Anthony and Terry Allen both added 11 points off the bench, while starting guard Darien Brothers finished with 10. The Spiders knocked down 10-of-28 three-pointers while holding the Rams to 31.5 percent shooting from the floor in the win.

Brothers paces Richmond’s four double-figure scorers with 14.8 points per game powered by 70 three-pointers, which are the fourth most in the A-10 this season. Anthony, last year’s A-10 Rookie of the Year, is second on the team with 12.5 points per game and 51 three pointers, while forward Derrick Williams adds 12.2 points per game and team-high 5.9 rebounds per game. District native Cedrick Lindsay rounds out the double-digit scorers at 10.6 points per game.

The Spiders lead the A-10 with 266 made three-pointers this season, but are the conference’s worst rebounding team with a -6.4 rebound margin and a league-low 29.1 rebounds per game.

GW will host its second Top 20 opponent to the Charles E. Smith Center this season when it welcomes No. 18/19 Saint Louis on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Following No. 14 Butler’s visit on Feb. 9, it will mark the first time two nationally ranked foes visited the Smith Center since the 1997-98 season. The contest will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus and Fox Sports Midwest Plus, streamed live on RaiseHigh.tv and broadcast live on FederalNewsRadio.com and 1500/820 AM.

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