On January 9th, the George Washington University Colonials met the La Salle Explorers in Tom Gola Arena. It was the opening game of Atlantic 10 play for GW, and it didn’t go all that well. La Salle scored 45 combined points from their starting backcourt and beat GW by a final score of 76-72. A controversial charging call in the last seconds of the game infuriated GW fans who were following.
So it’s understandable that there was some nervousness coming into the game tonight against La Salle. Though they’d lost two in a row and had a much less intimidating record away from Tom Gola Arena, GW fans were still wary of La Salle.
The Colonials though, did have ample confidence going into the game. They hadn’t lost at home yet (9-0) and they were riding a four-game winning streak.
On this windy, cold night in Washington, La Salle jumped out to an early lead, but GW caught up and for most of the first half, played a very close first half. Towards the end of the half, GW started to pull away and the teams headed to the locker room with the Colonials up 38-23.
And in the second half, GW poured it on. They jumped out to a 20-point lead and didn’t look back. The crowd, a strong showing for a Wednesday night, was delighted, and pandemonium broke out when Skyler White, a not-often-seen player off the bench, sunk a nothing-but-net three near the end of the game. GW’s play was considerably cleaner than the showing they made against Mason (at least in the first half), and La Salle limped through the second half, missing shot after shot.
Since UMass lost against the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure, GW now moves into second place in the Atlantic 10 conference behind Saint Louis at 17-3 overall and 5-1 in A-10 play. VCU, Richmond, and UMass sit right behind, so it’s important that GW keep their momentum going. They’ll head to Dayton, Ohio next to play the slumping Flyers, who are 1-5 in conference play. Duquesne and Fordham follow that game, and then GW is in for arguably the biggest challenge of the season: a four-game stretch that starts with VCU in Richmond, UMass, and then it’s back on the road to play Richmond and Saint Louis. Without Kethan Savage this will be an extremely difficult stretch of games, and it’s vital for GW to hang tough in these four games considering the competitiveness of the A-10.