The GW men’s basketball team will face Dayton in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals Thursday night at Philadelphia’s First Union Spectrum at 7 p.m.
GW, the A-10 West Division champion, is on a two-game winning streak after last Saturday’s thrilling victory over Xavier. A-10 Player of the Year Shawnta Rogers leads the Colonials into Philadelphia as a No. 1 seed for the first time in the University’s 22-year history in the A-10 Conference.
The Colonials will face a 10-16 Flyers squad that earned the right to play GW with a 70-69 overtime victory over St. Bonaventure Wednesday night. The Colonials beat Dayton twice this season, but the Flyers gave GW a scare in each contest.
Shawnta Rogers played high-caliber basketball in the two teams’ first meeting Feb. 14 in Ohio, tallying 29 points, five assists and four steals. Ahead by one point, Rogers penetrated and passed to senior Seco Camara who nailed a three-pointer to clinch the victory. GW’s attention will most likely focus on forward Mark Ashman, who averaged 17.5 points per game against the Colonials this season. Forward Coby Turner averaged 12 points and 35 minutes per game against GW.
In their first meeting Jan. 14 at the Smith Center, the Colonials struggled during the first half – shooting just 33 percent from the field – but led 32-31. GW’s offense coalesced in the second half for 49 points and Rogers scored a career-high 36 points along with five each of assists and steals. Mike King added 22 points as the Colonials won 81-69.
Should the Colonials advance, they would face the winner of the game between Rhode Island and La Salle Friday night at 9 p.m. GW would not have to face tournament favorite Temple or Xavier until the championship round Saturday night.
GW is the only one of the original eight A-10 teams to have never won the conference tournament.