GWU handles UMass
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/28/1994
WASHINGTON – When George Washington played the University of Massachusetts more than a month ago, it led by 11 at halftime and didn't trail until center Marcus Camby scored the game-winning bucket with :03 left. GWU coach Mike Jarvis said his team hasn't been the same since.
When George Washington played the 11th-ranked Minutemen yesterday, it made certain UMass left with a bad taste of its new and improved attack. Yinka Dare and Kwame Evans scored 24 points apiece as GWU jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the second half and held off every UMass rally for a 77-66 Atlantic 10 win before a raucous, capacity crowd of 5,020 – many of whom stormed the court after the final buzzer.
The game was tense, fast-paced and very, very physical; there were several moments when players had to be restrained after hard fouls. Dare added 20 rebounds and Evans three steals as GWU broke a four-game losing streak against UMass.
The Colonials attacked the UMass front line with Dare in the low post and burned the Minutemen with outside jumpers (7 of 8 on 3-pointers). They played in-your-face defense to hold UMass to 37 percent shooting and outrebounded the Minutemen, 48-37.
But that kind of effort is nothing new for GWU. The difference between yesterday and its loss at UMass is that Jarvis' team staged such an effort for 40 minutes.
“Since I've been here our games against UMass have been some of the most unbelievable,” said Jarvis, the former coach at Boston University and Cambridge Rindge & Latin. Last season at home, his team squandered a 16-point lead and fell victim to a 3-pointer by UMass' Mike Williams with four seconds left. “I just didn't want them to be down by 2 or 3 points with Mike Williams with the ball,” said Jarvis.
“We're starting to do the things we need to do, such as practicing hard for every minute of practice,” said Jarvis. “Prior to the UMass game Jan. 22, we practiced hard for about 75-80 percent of the time and we played hard for 75-80 percent of the time. We led that game for 39:57, and then we lost. I think they began to get an idea of what I meant when I kept saying, 'You practice as hard as you play.' ”
Two games after the disappointment in Amherst, the notion was hammered home again, a sloppily played, 15-point loss at Duquesne. George Washington has won all seven since then. “We're one of the hottest teams in the country right now,” said Jarvis.
Both teams were cold in the first half – UMass shot 29 percent, GWU 36 percent – and the Minutemen were down, 26-21, at the break. In the second half, however, the Colonials' shots began to fall in bunches. Evans hit a 3- pointer to put GWU up, 45-35, with 14:01 to go. A minute later, UMass botched a shot attempt, the ball was batted around several times and after a scramble, GWU gained control and got a reverse dunk by Evans that got the crowd going.
GWU led, 54-43, with 9:38 left, but UMass cut it to 54-47 with 7:02 to go. The Colonials did not fold, however. With two players with four fouls and three players with three, the Colonials never backed down. The margin went to 63-47 with 4:47 to play after Omo (Cambridge Rindge & Latin) Brown hit a 3- pointer with 2:31 left.
Down the stretch, the Colonials hit 8 of 10 free throws to fight off the Minutemen.
Donta Bright led UMass with 18 points.
“The Temple game drained us mentally and physically,” said Calipari. ''We weren't able to give what we needed to give, but I saw some good things out there. We tried everything we could to get them motivated, but obviously it wasn't effective.“