George Washington rolls past Rhode Island 69-56
By ELIZABETH TRAYNOR
WASHINGTON (AP) Kevin Larsen tied his career-high with 17 points as George Washington defeated Rhode Island 69-56 on Saturday afternoon.
From opening tip, head coach Mike Lonergan's Colonials (13-3, 1-1 A-10) were, in a word, dominant. At one point, George Washington led by as much as 32 points.
The Rams (9-9, 0-2) didn't put any points on the board until six minutes and 10 seconds had passed - and that score came off a goaltending call.
Technically, the Rams didn't put the ball through the net until the 11:17 mark of the first half. The frustration was evident - at one point, head coach Dan Hurley threw his clipboard onto the floor during the team huddle.
Patricio Garino had 14 points and five rebounds, and Kethan Savage had 14 points as well for the Colonials. Isaiah Armwood earned his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
Hassan Martin had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams, followed by T.J. Buchanan, who added 13 points.
The Colonials' offensive steamroll slowed slightly after halftime, but the difference was too much for the Rams to overcome. A 9-0 Rhode Island run midway through the second only cut the Colonial lead to 21 points.
The Rams worked to chip away at the lead throughout the second half of play, but was never able to cut it below double-digits.
The Colonials controlled the tempo of the game across play. Spreading and confusing the Rams offense, George Washington forced 11 turnovers, converting those into 10 points.
When the Rams could get a clean look, shots just weren't falling. Rhode Island went just 6 of 25 from the floor in the first half, and worked to correct that after the break. The Rams finished with a 42.6 shooting percentage, but made just two baskets from 3-point range.
The Colonials, too, struggled from the 3, making just a single trey, and only made 52.6 percent of their shots from the line.
Still, George Washington finished with a 48.3 shooting percentage, a showing that came with flashy fastbreak scores and violently slammed dunks that each sapped a little bit more of Rhode Island's energy.
It was the second conference loss in a row for Rhode Island, which will look to pick up its first A-10 win when it heads to La Salle Jan. 15. The Colonials, meanwhile, seek to start a conference streak when they host VCU Tuesday night.
Updated January 11, 2014