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Men’s basketball defeats Coppin State behind dominant defensive showing

Men’s basketball defeats Coppin State with dominant defense.
Raphael Kellner | Staff Photographer
Freshman guard Trey Autry and sophomore guard forward Benny Schröder block a pass during the game against Coppin State.

Men’s basketball (8-2) routed the Coppin State University Eagles (1-10) in the Smith Center on Saturday night, winning 76-45.

Three Revolutionaries scored in double figures, including redshirt freshman forward Darren Buchanan Jr., who led the team with 14 points. The Revs led from start to finish, boosted by a 14-4 run starting around the midway point of the first half.

On the other end, the GW defense stifled Coppin State’s shooting, holding them to just 20-77 from the field and 2-22 from three.

Following Buchanan in scoring was freshman guard Trey Autry with 13 and redshirt sophomore guard Maximus Edwards with 11. Autry’s 13 points were a new career high to go along with a team-high and career-best eight rebounds.

“I think Trey and Darren really understand who they are as players,” Head Coach Chris Caputo said after the game. “A lot of times it’s an adjustment for young players, understanding how can you be effective at this level, at this time. I think in Darren and Trey’s case they really do.”

Despite the high margin of victory, the Revolutionaries committed 17 turnovers on the night, something that Caputo said he is concerned about.

“[I’m] concerned with the turnovers, but I thought most of them were just trying to pass the ball or maybe making the wrong read,” Caputo said. 

Still, the team was able to pass the ball effectively, collecting 20 assists to CSU’s eight. Fifth-year senior guard James Bishop IV, who leads the team in scoring with 18.2 points per game, had just 4 points on the night, although he led the team with six assists. 

“It’s not a one-man sport,” said Autry on the team’s playmaking. “It’s a team sport, so us being unified, connected, I think that goes a long way into the record that we have.” 

With 14:02 remaining, Coppin State forward Toto Fagbenle hit a layup to cement a 10-0 run for his team, bringing the score to 40-27. Buchanan immediately responded, however, with an and-one layup the following possession. GW then went on a run of their own, scoring 13 unanswered points with Autry as well as freshman guard Jacoi Hutchinson and freshman forward Zamoku Weluche-Ume, contributing 3-pointers.

“I’m trying different things to get ourselves going a little bit and make a little bit of a run,” Caputo said. 

The lopsided score meant playing time was spread out more evenly, with 10 players seeing the floor for the Revs. Weluche-Ume picked up the first field goal of his collegiate career, scoring 6 points and shooting 2-2 from beyond the 3-point line. 

Graduate student center Babatunde “Stretch” Akingbola swatted five shots after breaking the program record with 11 in the previous game. His 3.8 blocks per-game average is first in the A-10 and tied for second best in the country.

All in all, the Revolutionaries dominated all aspects of the game, winning the battle on the boards 52-38 and connecting from outside with nine threes.

“We just want to dominate and win and show that we are GW,” said Buchanan.

The Revolutionaries look to remain undefeated at home as they take on the Bowie State Bulldogs (4-5) on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Smith Center.

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