Shawnta Rogers, GW’s smallest player, came up big for the Colonials for the second year in a row at the Red Auerbach Colonial Classic.
Once again the Colonials’ MVP was named the Red Auerbach Classic MVP after scoring a combined 33 points in GW’s contests against Howard and Delaware.
The diminutive point guard had 10 rebounds, eight assists and 11 steals in the tournament to accompany his scoring explosion.
Rogers’ (5-4) 21-point game in the tournament final was just four points off his career high of 25 last year against Virginia Tech. However, head coach Mike Jarvis was not as impressed with Rogers’ play as the Smith Center crowd.
“Shawnta’s greatest game will be 20 assists and no points, but he’s not going to realize that until he’s done playing,” Jarvis said.
With the Delaware defense focusing on GW’s powerful inside players, Rogers was left open for several three-point shots in the tournament final.
“I’m looking to score if I’m free and I got the shot,” Rogers said.
Rogers was free early and often against Delaware, draining two three-pointers in the first three minutes of the game to give the Colonials an early lead.
Rogers made five of six threes against Delaware, which was enough to surprise Delaware head coach Mike Brey.
“I didn’t think (Rogers) was that good of a three-point shooter,” Brey said.
Rogers said the addition of players to spell him at point guard will enable him to be at full strength when he comes off the bench.
Freshman Roey Eyal was a more than adequate substitute, with three rebounds, three points and three assists in 15 minutes in the opening game blowout of Howard.
In the closely-contested second game, Eyal managed two rebounds and two assists in just eight minutes of play. Eyal and Rogers also played at the same time for two minutes in the second half to allow Rogers to continue his hot shooting from the off-guard position.
Rogers is one of the team leaders on a squad with national championship aspirations. Rogers said the team has signed a compact with the goal of winning both an Atlantic 10 and national championship.
“It’s a good idea,” Rogers said of the compact. “We want to be the best, so we want to give it our best every day.”