Victory is the biggest in Lonergan's tenure
With students away for Thanksgiving, there was little noise from a crowd of 1,371 at Smith Center on Saturday as George Washington played host to Hofstra. If there was any lack of intensity, however, three Colonials freshmen didn't show it on the Pride's first possession.
When Patricio Garino went to the floor to slap away a dribble, Joe McDonald scrambled to save the ball from going out of bounds and Kevin Larsen went on all fours to retrieve the loose ball. Before the game was 50 seconds old, GW had three floor burns to show for its first forced turnover.
So it went in Foggy Bottom, where the Colonials outhustled Hofstra on their way to a thorough 80-56 victory, the most decisive win in Mike Lonergan's two years at GW.
"This felt like a game I'm used to," Lonergan said. "We played defense, outrebounded the opponent and we really shared the ball."
GW (2-2) dominated with a rabid man-to-man defense that limited Hofstra (3-4) to 31.7 percent shooting from the floor and forced 11 turnovers. The Colonials' intensity also showed on the boards, where they had a 40-27 edge.
Lasan Kromah (15 points), Isaiah Armwood (12 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks), Larsen (14 points, six rebounds) and Garino (nine points, five steals) led GW at both ends. McDonald (six points, six assists, five rebounds) guided an offense that moved the ball sharply. The Colonials registered assists on 26 of 34 baskets as they shot 61.8 percent from the floor and had a whopping 52 points in the paint.
"I'm thinking about asking [our media relations director] if we had a new statistics person at the table," Lonergan said. "I was shocked it was 26 assists on 34 baskets. We need that because we're not a great shooting team."
GW never trailed. During a 5:59 span of the first half, the Colonials held the Pride scoreless from the floor and went on a 15-1 run, fueled by a pair of baskets each by Larsen and Armwood, as they raced to a 34-16 lead.
It was a win so thorough that all 12 Colonials scored. GW reserves hit 11 of 20 shots, led by freshman and Episcopal graduate Kethan Savage (six points, three assists).