GW seniors Shawnta Rogers and Yegor Mescheriakov bounced back from their disappointing performances Jan. 17 at Xavier and led the Colonials to a pair of crucial Atlantic 10 wins at Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure.
GW (11-5, 5-1 A-10) had its hands full in both contests, needing scoring runs late in each game to pull out the wins.
“It was a big week for us, we had three road games,” GW head coach Tom Penders said. “A lot of people thought it was going to be our Waterloo – at Xavier, at Bonnies and here – and we got two out of three, so I feel really good.
The Colonials host Duquesne Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Smith Center.
GW 81, URI 74
Senior guard Shawnta Rogers slammed the ball on the court as the final buzzer sounded Saturday night, celebrating GW’s first victory over URI (10-9, 3-3 A-10) in three seasons, a hard fought 81-74 win at Providence Civic Center.
Rogers led the Colonials with game-highs of 26 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. Rogers had help from Mescheriakov and sophomore Mike King, who added 17 points apiece.
“Shawnta can dominate a game like no other player in America,” Penders said.
Trailing 63-61 with 5:55 remaining, the momentum shifted the Colonials way when the Rams’ Ed Brown was called for a technical foul for taunting GW’s Patrick Ngongba. Rogers hit the two free throws as part of GW’s 20-11 run to end the game.
“I thought the turning point in the game was the taunting technical,” Penders said. “It gave us a chance to score a couple and get a possession and we scored on that.”
GW led 77-74 in the final seconds when Rogers slapped the ball away from Rams guard Preston Murphy, who had squared up for a three-point attempt to tie the game. Murphy lost the ball, and GW’s Francisco de Miranda picked it up and was fouled.
Arguing that Rogers hit Murphy on the arm, Rhode Island head coach Jim Harrick was called for a technical foul. De Miranda made two foul shots and Rogers finished off the Rams by making the technical free throws.
“It was a war,” Penders said. “We knew Rhody was going to be desperate – we read the papers. They’re a great basketball team and we feel we’re a great basketball team too.”
GW 67, St. Bonaventure 56
Rogers, Mescheriakov and King played all 40 minutes and scored 56 of the Colonials points, as GW defeated a feisty St. Bonaventure team 67-56 Thursday at the Reilly Center.
“You get Mike, Shawnta and Yegor playing well and we’re going to be tough to beat,” Penders said.
The Bonnies (8-10, 2-4 A-10) led the Colonials at halftime and were ahead 51-50 before GW outscored them 17-5 in the remaining 5:36 of the game.
“We kind of gutted it out,” Penders said. “It was a grinder, a very hard-fought good win over a good team in their building.”
Rogers shut down St. Bonnie’s talented guard Tim Winn, holding him to 3-of-13 shooting, including 0 for 5 from three-point range. Rogers outscored Winn 21 to 11. Mescheriakov was a solid 8 of 11 from the floor for 17 points, while King scored 18.
Seco Camara played 18 minutes for GW, contributing three rebounds and hitting all four of his free throws. Before playing at St. Bonaventure, he had only played one minute in conference games this season.
“Seco’s performance was certainly very important for us,” Penders said. “He’s a senior, and I’m proud of him, and hopefully now he’ll contribute more.”
-Marc Birnbaum contributed to this report.