George Washington Holds Off Manhattan
Postgame Press Conference Audio - Steve Masiello
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senior forward Isaiah Armwood scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to send George Washington (4-3) to a 67-55 victory over Manhattan (2-4) on Sunday in the 18th Annual BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center. The Jaspers were led in scoring by sophomore guard RaShawn Stores who matched a career-high with 11 points.
In the third straight game against an Atlantic 10 opponent, Manhattan led by as many as seven points in the first half. The Jaspers scored eight straight points over a five minute run to open a 15-8 lead on the Colonials with 10:45 on the clock. Ryan McCoy knocked down a key three-pointer and freshman center Adam Lacey capped the spurt with a layup.
George Washington managed to keep the Jaspers' lead single digits with good free-throw shooting. The Colonials started the game 8-for-9 from the charity stripe. Freshman guard Kethan Savage eventually tied the game (20-20) for George Washington on a three.
The teams went back-and-forth in the last five minutes of the half. Manhattan rebuilt a four-point lead less than one minute after Savage's game-tying trey. A quick layup from Stores and free-throws by McCoy and George Beamon put Manhattan on top 24-20.
On the opposite side of the floor, Armwood stepped up for the Colonials as he scored seven of his nine first half points and had three blocks in the final three minutes. He completed an acrobatic three-point play with 32 seconds on the clock to put George Washington up three. Jaspers' sophomore forward Emmy Andujar answered with a three-pointer five seconds before intermission to tie the game 32-32.
Manhattan's balanced scoring attack in the first half featured eight players making their way into the points column. McCoy posted all eight points of a career outing in the first half by shooting 3-for-4 from the field.
The Colonials took advantage of their size in the second half to pull ahead. George Washington crashed the glass for 10 of their 11 offensive rebounds in the stanza. The ball was pounded inside to Armwood who consistently converted buckets or capitalized at the free-throw line. Armwood, a 6'9" 210-pound transfer from Villanova, shot 8-for-12 from the field and sank all seven of his free-throw attempts. It anchored the Colonials' 82.8% (24-29) mark at the line.
Senior guard Lasan Kromah also came to life for George Washington in the second half, scoring 16 of his 18 points. He hit 7-of-8 free-throws in the period.
Despite the Colonials' veterans executing down the stretch, Manhattan used its defensive pressure to stay within striking distance. Back-to-back steals leading to layups by junior guard Michael Alvarado and Beamon made it a two point game with nine minutes left (48-46). On the ensuing play the Jaspers forced a five-second violation, but could not capitalize on the offensive possession to tie the game.
It was only a three point deficit with 4:22 remaining after Roberto Colonette's layup. Armwood responded again with a clutch bucket, which was followed by 10 straight free-throws by the Colonials to put the game out of reach.
Beamon was the Jaspers' second highest scorer with nine points as his streak of 51-games scoring in double-digits came to an end. He led Manhattan with seven rebounds, while Stores grabbed six boards.
Junior forward Rhamel Brown ran into foul trouble resulting in only 10 minutes of action. The reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year blocked two shots to take sole possession of second place on the program's career chart (161).
Manhattan endured its worst field goal shooting performance of the year (33.9%, 19-56) and hit only 5-of-15 three-point attempts. The Jaspers forced a season-high 23 turnovers as Beamon led the way with four steals.
The Jaspers look to rebound on Friday in their MAAC opener at Marist. It will mark Manhattan's sixth road game in seven contests this season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the McCann Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. A live broadcast is available through JasperVision.tv and MAAC.tv.