The GW men’s basketball team won easily Monday night beating the One World All Stars 96-80. Senior Mike King led all-scorers with 27 points and sophomore SirValiant Brown added 25. This was the Colonials final exhibition game before they host Texas A&M University Saturday night in their first regular-season game.
Head Coach Tom Penders experimented with different match-ups and combinations in the team’s second exhibition game. Instead of starting Brown, the third-year coach started King, the team’s sixth man.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the sixth man, Penders said. I like to have better than a starter coming off the bench. They rotate between Val, Mike and Chris (Monroe) depending on what I need early in the game.
The one scare for GW came late in the second half when sophomore Chris Monroe and King both dove for a loose rebound and collided head first in mid-air. Monroe lay still on the court for a minute, but was able to walk off with the help of the trainer.
You can’t hurt Chris, Penders said.
Monroe and King started the contest with seniors Bernard Barrow, Antxon Iturbe and Patrick Ngongba. Brown entered 10 minutes into the game.
The Colonials came out with an even distribution of shots and transition lay-ups. Ngongba put up GW’s first two points off a rebound. The next two points came off outside shots – Iturbe hit a 15-foot jumper and Monroe nailed a three-pointer.
King missed a couple of shots early on but started hitting midway through the half.
I think it was the encouragement from the coach (Penders), King said. Coach helped me and told me to keep shooting and don’t worry about missing shots.
He ended the first half shooting 6-for-9 with one three-pointer.
It took only two minutes for the Colonials to break out. Down by a few points in the early going, Monroe hit a three-pointer and King followed with a lay-up off a steal. After a 17-2 GW run, the Colonials went up 21-6 with 13-minutes remaining in the half.
The Colonials went into halftime with a 52-35 lead behind 13 points apiece from King and Brown.
Penders used Monroe off the bench in the second half. He started Barrow, Ngongba, King, Brown and Iturbe. GW played aggressively on defense – matching its play in the first half – and the team went up 90-72 with two minutes remaining.
GW’s defense forced 21 turnovers, but Penders said he wants more because his big players have trouble playing in a half-court press situation.
Antxon (Iturbe) played very solid, Penders said. He knows how to play position-defense. Pat’s very solid. But they can’t play 40 minutes like that. We need to get a little bit more out of Jaason (Smith).
One World was led in scoring by former Manhattan College standout Jason Hoover, who had 15 points and eight rebounds.
The line between bench player and starter was blurred while Penders tested different combinations on the floor.
One thing that I think we’re going to see as the season goes on is that when we go to the bench, we’re not going to drop off, Penders said. There’s not going to be a major drop-off in talent when we get to our eight and nine players.
Penders said seniors will lead the way this season.
I feel the team has a chance to do really well because you’ve got four really solid seniors that have all been through the wars, he said. They have had some highs and had some lows. They don’t want the lows anymore. They want the highs.