George Washington (7-7) at Xavier (8-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cintas Center (10,250) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: GW 4-3, Xavier 5-2. Away Record: GW 2-4, Xavier 1-2. Neutral Record: GW 1-0, Xavier 2-2. Conference Record: GW 1-0, Xavier 1-0. Series Record: Xavier leads, 26-9.
GAME NOTES: The Xavier Musketeers look to notch another Atlantic 10 Conference victory at the Cintas Center when they play host to the Colonials of George Washington.
Since the beginning of the 2007 season, Xavier has gone a near perfect 48-1 against A-10 foes at the Cintas Center. But the Musketeers struggled some in their non-conference schedule, as they snapped a four-game slide Thursday night with a 57-52 triumph over Temple in their league opener. Following this tilt, the Musketeers will hit the road for three of their next four contests.
George Washington is also looking for a 2-0 start in A-10 play after taking down defending conference champion St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, 78-59. The victory was the third in the last four outings for the Colonials, who have relied heavily on freshmen this season. They'll return home to host Temple this coming Wednesday.
XU holds a 26-9 lead over GW in the head-to-head series, and that includes wins in seven straight meetings and 11 of the last 12.
GW coach Mike Lonergan went with four freshmen in his starting lineup against the Bonnies, and the result was a rather lopsided victory against a formidable opponent. The Colonials shot a scorching 57.1 percent for the game, including a 6-of-12 effort from the perimeter, while they held St. Bonaventure to 39- percent shooting and a 3-of-18 effort from beyond the arc. Four Colonials finished in double figures, led by Lasan Kromah with 14 points off the bench. Kethan Savage and Patricio Garino scored 12 apiece, while Isaiah Armwood recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five blocks. The Colonials wasted little time, as they made 12 of their first 14 shots to build an early 26-12 lead and played frontrunner the rest of the way. Armwood, a transfer from Villanova, leads the team with 12.6 points per game behind 52.6-percent shooting from the floor. He also paces the A-10 in blocks (3.1 bpg) and is second in rebounding (8.7 rpg).
The Musketeers are a well-rounded squad that leads the conference in field- goal percentage (.464) and ranks third in both field-goal percentage defense (.398) and scoring defense (60.6 ppg.). They have held foes to 29.7-percent shooting from 3-point range, which ranks second in the A-10. Like GW, the Musketeers lean on their youth as freshman Semaj Christon leads the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), assists (4.6 apg) and steals (1.5 spg) and has already garnered Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors twice. Sophomores Dee Davis (9.5 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Justin Martin (9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg) have also made steady contributions, while senior Travis Taylor (11.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) provides solid leadership, and production. Against Temple a couple of nights ago, Taylor posted 11 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double over the last five games. Christon scored a team-high 16 points in the win.
Both of these squads pride themselves on playing aggressive defense, so don't expect an up-tempo game. While the Colonials have certainly stepped up their play of late, the Cintas Center has proven an awfully tough venue for visiting teams over the last five years.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Xavier 58, George Washington 54
01/12 10:36:05 ET