Saint Joseph's (21-7) at George Washington (21-7)
GAME NOTES: With the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title still within reach, the Saint Joseph's Hawks travel to the Charles E. Smith Center in our nation's capital for a crucial league clash with the George Washington Colonials.
Saint Joseph's has really turned it on down the stretch, with wins in six straight games entering this contest. The string of success has lifted the Hawks to 21-7 overall, but, more importantly, to 11-3 in league play, which is just a game back of first-place Saint Louis with two games to play. A Big Five rivalry game against La Salle will serve as the season finale for the Hawks.
George Washington is also 21-7 overall, but it is just off the pace set by the Hawks and Billikens at the top of the conference standings (9-5). The Colonials have also been struggling a bit of late, with a 2-3 record in their last five games. They will be on the road in their season finale, although that bout is against last-place Fordham.
Saint Joseph's owns a 33-24 lead in the all-time series with George Washington, and the Hawks have won the last three meetings, including a 71-59 decision in last season's lone battle.
Langston Galloway scored 27 points to lead four players in double figures as the Hawks took care of business on the road against St. Bonaventure, 83-74, this past Saturday. Saint Joseph's drained 54 percent of its shots from the field and logged a 33-27 edge on the glass.
Saint Joseph's has made a habit of taking and making good shots this season as it leads the A-10 in field goal percentage (.474). However, the Hawks are still a modest offensive team in terms of scoring, ranking eighth in the league at 72 ppg. Galloway (16.9 ppg) is the primary option on offense, although he gets plenty of help from the rest of the roster. Ronald Roberts Jr. (14.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is a strong scorer in the post, as he demonstrated in scoring 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting against St. Bonaventure. DeAndre Bembry (11.7 ppg), Halil Kanacevic (10.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 4.6 apg) and Chris Wilson (10.6 ppg) also factor into the club's overall effort.
George Washington held on for a 66-58 victory over George Mason in its last contest. Maurice Creek scored a game-high 22 points and Isaiah Armwood added 11 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way. The Colonials limited the Patriots to 37.9 percent shooting and outscored them, 24-9, from 3-point range.
Like the Hawks, GW has shot well from the field this season (.463), but has not piled up the points at an especially accelerated rate (73.7 ppg). However, the Colonials have been extremely effective on defense, limiting the opposition to 66.1 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting. Creek (14 ppg) has come into his own as the lead offensive option since Kethan Savage (13.4 ppg) went down to injury at the end of January. Creek has scored at least 16 points in four of the last six games, including a pair of 20-point efforts. Armwood (12.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg), Kevin Larsen (11.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Patricio Garino (11.9 ppg) all lend a hand on offense, and Joe McDonald (8.2 ppg, 4 apg) does a fine job at the point.
Other than a six-point loss to UMass, George Washington has been unstoppable at home this season (13-1). Although the Hawks will certainly be motivated, the Colonials edge at the Smith Center will be the difference.
GAME NOTES: With the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title still within
reach, the Saint Joseph's Hawks travel to the Charles E. Smith Center in our
nation's capital for a crucial league clash with the George Washington
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles E. Smith Center (5,000) -- Washington, D.C.
Television: TCN-PHL, CSN+, SNY. Home Record: SJU 11-3, GW 13-1. Away Record:
SJU 8-3, GW 5-5. Neutral Record: SJU 2-1, GW 3-1. Conference Record: SJU 11-3,
GW 9-5. Series Record: Saint Joseph's leads, 33-24.Game Date and Time
Wednesday, March 5, 9 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
George Washington 73, Saint Joseph's 69