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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Preview: Colonials look to overcome injuries against Duquesne

Who: GW (17-4, 5-2) vs. Duquesne (10-10, 2-5)
When: Wednesday @ 7 p.m.
Where: Smith Center

Case for Duquesne:

If the Dukes walk out of the Smith Center with a win Wednesday, it’s going to be because of their offensive production and GW’s many injuries. Duquesne has the third-best scoring offense in the Atlantic 10, averaging 76.2 points per game, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. The Dukes are also incredibly efficient with their possessions, boasting the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the league at 1.4.

Senior forward Isaiah Armwood goes up against a Duquesne defender in the two team's matchup last season. Hatchet File Photo
Senior forward Isaiah Armwood goes up against a Duquesne defender in the two team’s matchup last season. Hatchet File Photo

Additionally, Duquesne moves the ball well, ranking second in the conference at 15.1 assists per game, which could spell trouble for the Colonials who struggled to stop a good passing team in Dayton Saturday.

A quartet of players lead second-year head coach Jim Ferry’s team.

Senior forward Ovie Soko leads the Dukes in scoring, and ranks second in the conference at 18.4 points per game. A transfer from University of Alabama at Birmingham, Soko is the only A-10 player ranked in the top-10 in both scoring and rebounding, in which he also leads the team at 7.6 rpg. The native of London has tremendous ability to get to the rim, as he averages 9.9 free throw attempts per game.

Junior Dominique McKoy is another weapon for the Dukes. McKoy is averaging 10 points per game, while shooting an impressive 63.9 percent from the field, good enough for the second best field goal percentage in the conference. Sophomore Derrick Colter, last season’s A-10 rookie of the year, anchors the team, averaging 9.9 points and 3.7 assists per game. In the absence of tight defensive pressure from Kethan Savage and possibly Joe McDonald, the point guard could have a very productive night for the Dukes.

Case for GW:

The Colonials will look to build momentum at home after a close double-digit loss to Dayton in which they were without leading scorer Maurice Creek and sophomores Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage.

In order to stay perfect at home and avoid losing back-to-back games, the Colonials will need to continue to be one of the best scoring defenses in the league. GW currently ranks second in the conference, allowing 65.7 points per game.

Because Duquesne is a very effective offensive team, the Colonials will also have to win the rebounding battle and limit the Dukes offensive possessions. Duquesne is an average rebounding team, averaging around 35 rebounds per game. The GW frontcourt of senior Isaiah Armwood and sophomore Kevin Larsen lead the team at 8.4 (fourth in the conference) and 6.5 rebounds per game, respectively.

Inside, the key to limiting Soko’s production will be to pressure him and force him to turn over the ball, something he has done 49 times this season. GW is averaging 14.4 turnovers per game.

On offense, the Colonials will need to exploit Duquesne’s A-10 worst scoring defense, allowing 75.2 points per game, with opponents shooting 45.6 percent from the field. The Colonials currently have three (active) players averaging double figures, Larsen (11.8 ppg), Armwood (11.6 ppg) and Garino (10.4 ppg).

Wednesday’s game could be another opportunity for senior Nemanja Mikic to regain his three point rhythm. After shooting 1-8 from the field at Dayton, Mikic has a chance to exploit a Duquesne three-point defense that has allowed 194 made three pointers this season. Opponents shoot a whopping 40.2 percent from the field from deep against the Dukes.

With the possibility of Joe McDonald out for his second straight game, freshman Miguel Cartagena will have to put up another solid performance, take care of the ball and distribute – something he did nicely against Dayton, totaling seven assists and a single turnover in 33 minutes

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