George Washington (12-12) at Saint Joseph's (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: CSN-MA, NW, TCN-PHI, CSS. Home Record: GW 6-6, Saint Joseph's 8-3. Away Record: GW 5-6, Saint Joseph's 5-6. Neutral Record: GW 1-0, Saint Joseph's 1-1. Conference Record: GW 6-5, Saint Joseph's 5-6. Series Record: Saint Joseph's leads, 33-24.
GAME NOTES: A couple of teams trapped in the middle of the Atlantic 10 Conference standings get together in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, as the George Washington Colonials pay a visit to the Saint Joseph's Hawks at Hagan Arena.
The Colonials enter the weekend tied with UMass and Charlotte for seventh place in the conference standings with a record of 6-5 thanks to a 68-60 win over Fordham earlier this week. The victory snapped a brief two-game slide for the program and moved them back to .500 on the season overall at 12-12.
As for the Hawks, they've been out of action since last weekend when they were defeated by local foe La Salle, 76-64, at The Palestra. The setback was the third in four games for a Saint Joseph's group that is now just 5-6 in league play.
The Hawks lead the all-time series with GW by a count of 33-24.
Ahead by as many as 13 points late in the second half, the Colonials certainly made things interesting against Fordham earlier this week when the team shot just 34.5 percent from the floor and a dismal 12-of-26 at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes of action. Kevin Larsen led the squad with 15 points, Lasan Kromah added 13 off the bench, while Isaiah Armwood tacked on eight points and a team-best 12 rebounds for a squad that wound up hitting just 17-of-37 at the charity stripe.
Among the regular starters this season, not one of them is shooting even 70 percent at the free-throw line and that has taken the entire team down to 67.0 percent and left far too many points unrealized at the stripe. Armwood, who is 69-of-101 at the line thus far, is also the only double-digit scorer for the Colonials with 11.9 ppg, accounting for 8.7 rpg as well which is also tops on the unit and gives GW a rebounding advantage of more than five per game over the competition.
The Hawks had a chance to pick up the win against La Salle last weekend at The Palestra, but that was before the Explorers erupted for 72.7 percent shooting from the floor in the second half of the 12-point decision. Halil Kanacevic connected on 6-of-8 shots from the floor as he finished with a team-best 16 points in a reserve role, followed by Ronald Roberts with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the campaign. Langston Galloway contributed 12 points before fouling out.
Against league foes this season, the Hawks are generating 66.0 ppg which is a modest average for the program but at the same time leaves them 2.5 ppg behind the competition. Carl Jones leads five players in double figures in those outings with his 13.7 ppg, followed by Roberts (11.8 ppg) who is always poised to record a double-double as he averages a team-best 9.1 rpg. Not to be overlooked is Kanacevic (11.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) who is capable of doing his own damage in the paint as he sparks the squad off the bench.
Both of these teams need wins down the stretch in the worst way, so expect the Hawks to manage this contest very precisely in order to come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Joseph's 67, George Washington 63
02/23 10:33:25 ET