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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Men’s basketball routs Ohio in first Diamond Head Classic game

Senior John Kopriva looks for a pass in GWs 77-49 win over Ohio in the Diamond Head Classic Monday. Kopriva scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, one of four scorers to finish in double figures as the Colonials showcased their balance. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Photographer
Senior John Kopriva looks for a pass in GW’s 77-49 win over Ohio in the Diamond Head Classic Monday. Kopriva scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, one of four scorers to finish in double figures as the Colonials showcased their balance. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Photographer
Senior John Kopriva looks for a pass in GW's 77-49 win over Ohio in the Diamond Head Classic Monday. Kopriva scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, one of four scorers to finish in double figures as the Colonials showcased their balance. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Senior John Kopriva looks for a pass in GW’s 77-49 win over Ohio in the Diamond Head Classic on Monday. Kopriva scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds, and was one of four scorers to finish in double figures as the Colonials showcased their balance. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Staff Photographer

HONOLULU – Driving in from the right side of the basket, Kethan Savage palmed the ball in his outstretched right hand. Launching himself like a rocket to the basket, he skyed over Ohio’s Wadly Mompremier and stuffed the ball through the net.

Behind Savage’s 18 points and highlight-reel dunk, which he called his “biggest in-game dunk of the season,” the Colonials said a big “Aloha” to Ohio in the first game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, routing the Bobcats 77-49 on Monday.

The word means both “hello” and “goodbye,” and if Savage’s dunk was his way of greeting the Bobcats, the team’s crushing defense in the second half took care of the goodbye for the Colonials.

“It was a good win for us to start this tournament,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “I think what helps us truthfully is when we get balanced scoring and all our guys are scoring, they play better [defense], especially Pato, Kevin, Kethan. Everybody wants to score, but I think sometimes we let our lack of offensive production affect our defense, and today guys were scoring, so they had energy on both ends of the court.”

Four players scored in double figures, with Kevin Larsen leading all scorers with 19 points, Patricio Garino scoring 15 and John Kopriva adding 10. Larsen led the game in rebounding with 15 boards.

The game was Larsen’s second straight double-double and his strength down low helped GW outscore Ohio 46-22 in the paint and outrebound the Bobcats 44-28.

In some ways, it was textbook Larsen when he plays how GW wants him to – tapping in putbacks and grabbing six offensive rebounds to contribute to a 19-7 edge in second-chance points – but Lonergan said Larsen’s two blocks were a new and welcome addition to his game.

“He never used to block shots,” Lonergan said. “He didn’t play with the same energy on defense as he did on offense, but now his game has been more well rounded and he’s got his confidence. He’s just got to keep being consistent.”

While the Colonials got help from many sources, Ohio was limited to just one player in double figures with Ryan Taylor’s 13 points.

Junior Joe McDonald drives to the basket in transition for the Colonials. McDonald had a quiet four-point, six-rebound night but helped GW outscore Ohio 10-2 in fast-break points. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Junior Joe McDonald drives to the basket in transition for the Colonials. McDonald had a quiet four-point, six-rebound night but helped GW outscore Ohio 10-2 in fast-break points. Nora Princiotti | Hatchet Staff Photographer

All of Taylor’s points came in the first half as well as each of Javarez Willis’ nine for the Bobcats. The game was competitive going into the second half, with GW holding a 43-34 edge. Then the Colonials doubled up in the second half, outscoring Ohio 34-15.

The Colonials gave the Ohio offense fits in the second, guarding the Bobcats down to 25 percent shooting after the half. The Colonials shot 47.6 percent in the game to Ohio’s 37.5.

“We just brought more energy. We were willing to fly around more, limit them to one chance on the glass, make things tougher on them,” Savage said. “They have all right handers, so we were trying to make them go left, make them as uncomfortable as possible.”

Even with the dominant second half, no starter played less than Patricio Garino’s 28 minutes, and no other starter played less than 32. GW’s bench was even with Ohio’s at 11 points and will have to contribute more with three games in four days at the tournament.

“I probably should have taken our starters out earlier. Our bench, they’re so young to put them out there,” Lonergan said. “I didn’t want them to make a run, so we probably played more minutes than I wanted to despite the score.”

Lonergan said the team will try to relax as much as possible – no sun or surf on the agenda for now – before the team’s next game against the winner of DePaul-Colorado on Tuesday at 4:30 pm. EST.

Still, with the chance to focus exclusively on basketball, Larsen said the “business trip” is helping the Colonials gel together and play how they want to play.

“We’re very well balanced. John can go off, I can go off, Kethan. That’s what we are: a really well-balanced team,” Larsen said. “I love this. This is fun, it’s fun for me.”

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