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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Game Diary
George Washington 35, Dayton 26

George Washington knows that a loss here means losing whatever "bubble" pretensions they may have; the mid-week disastrous 19-point loss to Xavier might have already done the trick. The Atlantic 10, having a major down year, looks like a one-bid conference this year; for the moment GW has a marginal edge on St. Joe's for a claim to be the second team (after whoever wins the tournament, of course) but that's mostly based on way-back wins over Michigan State and Maryland. St. Joe's has had a tougher schedule but doesn't have a win anywhere near that caliber. Next week's game between the two at the Smith Center looms large; the loser is absolutely going to need to run the table at the A-10 tourney in Cincinnati.

Absolutely crucial game here. They have more to play for than Dayton does - they're looking at the NIT if they do anything short of winning the automatic bid, win or lose here today. Winner here likely gets the #1 seed in the A-10 West, though.

Colonials looking good thusfar, apart from a stretch where they couldn't hold onto the ball in the opening minutes; a real opportunity to put Dayton on the ropes was let by the boards. They had a cold stretch from the field but it didn't end up hurting that much since the defense was so good - a top shelf performance against a team with more than its share of scoring threats. Eventually the Flyers started hitting some shots and getting to the free throw line and GW had no cushion. Fortunately, Dayton didn't really get hot from the field the entire half, so the Colonials' rebounding edge meant that they never trailed. And GW did what they do best, even when they're not playing well, focring the other team to hurry and turn the bull over. Their advtantage in forward play also helped lead to getting to the free-throw line more often, which has been crucial to their lead.

T.J. Thompson is hitting his shots and not forcing things too much; Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been pretty quite for most of the half. Maureece Rice, despite his breaking of Wilt Chamberlain's Philly his scoring record had made his defense off the beach his calling card.

This Flyers squad is young and deep, though not as talented as the Colonials. If they end up pulling out the win at home, it would probably come courtesy of the 3-point shot since they don't really match up well against GW in the paint.

Hopefully the Colonials don't come out cold.


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