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The GW Hatchet

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

Colonials hold off Bulls on the road for third-straight win

Senior guard Patricio Garino and junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh look for a rebound in GW’s 73-67 win at USF Thursday night. Garino led the Colonials in scoring with 18 points for the second time this season.  Media Credit: UCF Athletics
Senior guard Patricio Garino and junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh look for a rebound in GW’s 73-67 win at USF Thursday night. Garino led the Colonials in scoring with 18 points for the second time this season. Media Credit: UCF Athletics

TAMPA, Fla. –It wasn’t pretty, the final score was closer than the Colonials or their fans would have liked, but GW secured its first road win of the season nonetheless in a 73-67 decision over South Florida Thursday night.

For the second-straight game, senior swingman Patricio Garino led the visitors with 18 points. Sophomore guard Paul Jorgensen followed close behind with 16, many of which came at pivotal moments, while his senior counterpart at the one, Joe McDonald, added a game-high 13 boards.

“We’ll take it. Any road win is a good win,” head coach Mike Lonergan said. “I wish it was easier, but this is a game that I don’t know if we would have won last year. We hung in there, we finally made some free throws down the stretch, but we gave them their confidence.”

Despite outshooting the Bulls (0-3) from the field 41.8 percent to 35 percent and matching USF with a season-high six made three-pointers, the Colonials (3-0) were dominated on the glass 49-37 on the night.

GW would secure double-digit leads multiple times throughout the contest, but its deficiencies on the boards allowed the Bulls to get back in it. Colonial big men, senior forward Kevin Larsen (4 points) and junior forward Tyler Cavanaugh (10 points), who fouled out with 7 plus minutes to play, combined for just nine rebounds.

“Their best offense was really offensive rebounds. I give them credit, they played hard, but we weren’t boxing out,” Lonergan said. “Our point guard had 13 rebounds, but our big guys weren’t really rebounding at all. It was frustrating because in the first half I thought we had some good stops and then they would get an offensive rebound.”

The Colonials forced 16 turnovers in the six-point victory, giving away the ball only 10 times themselves and recording eight steals to USF’s five. But, GW seemed to struggle defensively in spurts, and the Bulls made them pay.

While USF only led the game for a minute and change, a win never seemed like a sure-thing for the Colonials until the game’s waning minutes. In front of a relatively small, but loud Sun Dome crowd, the Bulls cut GW’s lead to single digits frequently by finding ways to the basket.

“They were throwing in some tough shots, but the most disappointing thing for me was just that they were getting to the rim at will, kind of like Brogdon did in the second half of our last game, and that’s something we’ve really got to address, and do a much better job of containing dribble penetration,” Lonergan said.

Luckily for GW, Garino and Jorgensen were able to do the same thing to the Bulls’ defense. The team’s two dynamic leading scorers found a handful of ways to score, many times halting dangerous USF momentum with a clutch three-pointer or a fast-break bucket.

“We were calm throughout the game, we’re pretty confident this year, we have a lot of tools, a lot of personnel to overcome any kind of situation and I think today you can clearly see the experience we have that maybe we lacked a couple of years ago,” Garino said. “With our maturity and patience we put the game away.”

Jorgensen, despite being assessed a technical foul after hitting a layup, complemented McDonald’s physical effort with much needed scoring. The guard said after his basket he directed an “and-one,” exclamation at his teammates on the bench to pump them up, but the officials misinterpreted it.

In addition to his 16 points, Jorgensen added four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

“I thought I was always at the right place at the right time. I think we executed our stuff well and coach had us in the right spots,” Jorgensen said. “I think expectations were high for me from my coaches and my teammates, so I’m happy I’m playing well right now.”

The close game was ultimately sealed at the free throw line in the final minutes of the second half by graduate student guard Alex Mitola. The Dartmouth transfer hit six free throws in row, his only points of the night, to give the Colonials the cushion they needed despite a 70 percent team clip from the charity stripe.

The Colonials are back in action Sunday night, when they look for their fourth consecutive win of the season against Army at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Center.

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