GW slams home opener

The GW men’s basketball team stormed past the California East All-Stars 120-78 Wednesday night at the Smith Center, unleashing a high-powered offensive display that saw six Colonials score in double-digits. Sophomore Chris Monroe led GW with 27 points while junior Jaason Smith added 22 points in only 18 minutes of play. Smith shot 10-for-13 from the field, which included two explosive rebound slam-dunks that drew loud cheers from the crowd of almost 1,600.

Basically, we’re trying to translate what we’ve been doing at practice to game situations and that was just running, spreading the floor and sharing the wealth, Smith said. Coaches preach to me everyday to use my quickness. I’m not the strongest guy out there, but they want me to use my quickness and my leaping ability to my advantage.

Smith was not among GW’s starting five, which included Monroe, SirValiant Brown, Bernard Barrow, Antxon Iturbe and Patrick Ngongba. Despite a case of the nerves that kept GW scoreless during the first few minutes, Brown (17 points) hit a couple of early three-pointers that paced the Colonials to a 22-10 lead five minutes into the game. From there, Monroe banged with former University of Connecticut forward Kirk King, scoring his first 10 points (10-of-12) on free throws.

I’m looking to take advantage of what they give me, Monroe said. If they give me my jumper than I’m going to continue taking it. And if they overplay me then I’m going to go to the hole. Today, I was able to drive and draw the fouls.

GW, which led 60-38 at halftime and committed just nine turnovers in the entire game, got 13 points from freshman Marquin Chandler and 10 assists from Darnell Miller. Ngongba (4-for-4) and senior Mike King (4-for-9) each contributed 10 points apiece for the Colonials.

I stressed to put up points on the board early, GW head coach Tom Penders said. What we wanted to do was play great defense, stress our running game and play together – share the basketball. Nobody cares about who gets the points and who gets the credit. The only thing that can stand in the way of us having an outstanding year is inter-team jealousy and worrying about who gets credit, and my bad coaching.

The game became a blowout when Smith scored 10 points in a three-minute span during a 20-5 run midway through the second half.

Jaason played wonderfully, Penders said. When’s he’s active and he’s rebounding and focusing on defense, he stays on the floor.

The East All-Stars were led by Kirk King, who scored most of his game-high 31 points (12-of-16) in the paint in the first half. Other notable players on the East All-Star squad included former University of Maryland guard Terrell Stokes and University of Pennsylvania guard Michael Jordan.

Former Temple standout Mark Karcher, who was released from the Philadelphia 76ers in the preseason, was on the All-Stars roster before being pulled off by his agent, the team’s head coach Dick Lien said.

GW will continue its exhibition play Monday night at the Smith Center when the Colonials take on the One World All-Stars.

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