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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Smith Center (4,338) -- Washington, D.C. Television: CSN-MA. Home Record: Fordham 4-5, GW 5-6. Away Record: Fordham 0-13, GW 5-6. Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, GW 1-0. Conference Record: Fordham 2-9, GW 5-5. Series Record: George Washington leads, 19-6.
GAME NOTES: Two struggling programs meet in the nation's capital on Wednesday night, as the Fordham Rams take on the George Washington Colonials in an Atlantic 10 Conference tilt at the Smith Center.
GW was blown out by VCU, 84-57, this past Saturday night in Richmond. It was the team's second consecutive loss and third in the last four outings overall.
The Rams fell to nationally-ranked Butler, also this past Saturday. That loss was the sixth straight and ninth in their last 10 games overall.
Wednesday night's contest marks the 26th meeting between Fordham and George Washington on the hardwood, with the Colonials leading the series, which started during the 1914-15 season, by a 19-6 margin. Fordham won last year's meeting, 63-58, at Rose Hill Gym on Jan. 28, as Branden Frazier scored a game- high 20 points and Chris Gaston added 16.
Gaston recorded 21 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Rams as they fell to 11th-ranked Butler on Saturday. Mandell Thomas added 12 points and Travion Leonard registered 10 points and nine rebounds for Fordham. Entering the second half, Butler held a 30-26 margin. However, an early 9-0 run by Fordham gave the team a 35-30 advantage with 16 minutes remaining. Butler scored 13 unanswered points over the next three minutes to take a 43-35 lead. Fordham clawed its way to within two, 65-63, with 18 seconds remaining in regulation but couldn't complete the comeback.
The Rams have struggled this season primarily because they have been woeful at the defensive end. Fordham is last in the conference with a horrid -11.2 scoring margin by allowing foes to net a staggering 76.3 ppg. Only 10 teams at the Division I level are allowing more points. Frazier and Gaston are the only currently double-digit performers, averaging 14.6 and 14.5 ppg, respectively. Gaston (7.9 rpg) has missed more than half the season, but he returned against Butler and was a welcome addition to the frontcourt. Still, depth behind those two is scarce. Thomas and Bryan Smith are the next closest scorers at 9.0 and 8.0 ppg, respectively.
Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino tallied 10 points apiece for the Colonials as they were handed their second loss in a row in falling to VCU. Larsen also grabbed nine rebounds, while Joe McDonald scored nine points and committed eight of George Washington's 25 turnovers. The Colonials jumped out to an early 8-2 lead but it did not last long as VCU quickly battled back, closing out the first half with an 18-4 run to build a sizeable 42-24 advantage at halftime. The Colonials had a poor showing at the charity stripe, where they went just 14-of-25, while the Rams converted GW's plethora of giveaways into 27 points.
Isaiah Armwood has been leading the attack for the Colonials this season, averaging 12.0 ppg to go along with 8.5 rpg, which is second-best in the conference. Lasan Kromah and Garino add 9.7 and 9.6 ppg, respectively. The Colonials are scoring 65.9 points per game and giving up 63.3. They are second in the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.409).
Both teams are coming off games against two of the top teams in the conference. Although Fordham showed promise in hanging with Butler, its defensive liabilities continue to be a problem and GW should be able to exploit that fact at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 72, Fordham 62
02/20 11:09:31 ET
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