Courtesy of GWSports.com
WASHINGTON – Despite a game-high 20 points from sophomore Patricio Garino, GW men’s basketball dropped its first game at the Charles E. Smith Center this season with a 67-61 loss to Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops GW to 19-6 overall, into a tie for fifth in the Atlantic 10 with UMass (20-5) at 7-4, and to 12-1 at the Smith Center this season. It also marks the end of the Colonials’ 13-game home win streak, which was tied as the nation’s 13th-longest active streak and equaled the seventh-longest in program history.
Garino made 8-of-15 shots, including a pair of reverse layups that capped an 8-0 run and gave GW a 56-55 lead with 6:11 to play. Senior Isaiah Armwood scored two of his 16 points on the next possession to again put the Colonials ahead, 58-57, with 5:17 left, but Cady Lalanne’s alley-oop dunk from Chaz Williams at the five-minute mark sparked a game-deciding 10-3 run that gave the Minutemen just their ninth victory in 29 all-time trips to the Smith Center.
Garino added a game-high three steals to his 20 points, while Armwood had eight rebounds to go along with his 16. Graduate student Maurice Creek hit a pair of three pointers en route to 11 points, sophomore Kevin Larsen had seven points and eight boards, and sophomore Joe McDonaldgrabbed a game- and career-high 10 rebounds and dished out a game-high seven assists against just one turnover.
The third Smith Center sellout crowd of the season witnessed a typical back-and-forth battle between GW and UMass, the only two continuous A-10 members since the league’s formation in 1976.
The lead changed hands eight times, including four lead changes in a span of 61 seconds late in the second half after the Colonials rallied from their largest deficit, 49-38, with 12 minutes remaining. There were also five ties, the last at 59-59 with3:58 left, but GW missed its final seven shots and a pair of critical back-end free throws while UMass scored its final eight points at the foul line to pull away.
It marked the third straight time in the series and ninth time in the last 11 meetings that the game was decided by single digits.
Sampson Carter made four of UMass’ five triples in the game and matched Garino with 20 points. Derrick Gordon added 11 points, Raphiael Putney totaled eight points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Williams finished with eight points, six assists and five boards.
GW shot 36.7 percent (22-60) from the field, its third-lowest shooting rate overall and lowest at Smith Center this season, while UMass converted 49 percent of its shots (25-51), the second-highest allowed by the Colonials this season.
GW is on the road for two games next week, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Richmond for a national NBCSN broadcast at 7 p.m.
– GW –