Cavanaugh scores 18; No. 21 GW beats St Peter's 87
WASHINGTON (AP) George Washington displayed an offensive balance Saturday that could help the Colonials keep their new status as a ranked team deep into the season.
Tyler Cavanaugh scored 18 points and was among four players in double figures and the No. 21 Colonials finished their home nonconference schedule unbeaten with an 87-74 victory over Saint Peter's.
Kevin Larsen earned his third double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Patricio Garino scored 16 points.
Both player shook off scoring slumps for George Washington (10-1), which is ranked for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.
''I think we have the most unselfish team we've ever had,'' Garino said, ''And we don't care who scores 20 points or who doesn't.''
Paul Jorgensen added 12 points to help the Colonials fend off a late comeback by the Peacocks, who closed within 11 after trailing trailed by as many as 23 before halftime.
''We got a little sluggish in the second half,'' Larsen said. ''It happens, but we've got to be better than that. Be more mature.''
Trevis Wyche scored a career-high 26 points and Antwon Portley added 21 for Saint Peter's (3-6), which took some consolation from its effort after halftime.
''I thought we had a little bit of a meltdown in the first half,'' Saint Peter's coach John Dunne said. ''We weren't responding well to their intensity. And I thought we responded really well in the second half with the great energy.''
Cavanaugh continued to be the Colonials' primary scoring option, scoring at least 15 points for the eighth time this season. This time he was buoyed by improved efforts from Garino and Larsen.
Garino, GW's second-leading scorer, snapped a stretch of three games without scoring in double figures. Larsen, the Colonial's third-leading scorer, reached double figures for the first time in five games.
''My team has been very helpful, trying to get me the ball, trying to get me out of the slump,'' Larsen said. ''and today, I was kind of out of it.''
Larsen scored six points during a 13-0 run that helped the Colonials take a 33-13 first-half lead, before GW entered halftime up 46-29.
Jorgensen's 3-pointer in the second half made it 79-55 before Saint Peter's answered with a 13-0 run. But Alex Mitola hit a pair of free throws before Jorgensen hit a runner and then a 3-pointer to stretch it to 86-70.
STRUGGLES ON D
George Washington coach Mike Lonergan criticized his team's second-half effort after Saint Peter's shot 57 percent (16 of 28) and scored 45 points.
''The second half, I just didn't think we had any energy. Our defense was awful,'' he said.
Larsen admitted the Colonials were taking some enjoyment from their new ranked status.
''I mean it's pretty awesome. I can't lie,'' he said. ''That's why we came here. It's just an enjoyable time. But we've still got a lot to do and we'll continue to work hard.''
George Washington: The Colonials scored 46 first-half points for a second consecutive game. They led Rutgers 46-24 at halftime last Saturday. ... Mitola's eight points were his most since transferring to GW for his senior season.
Saint Peter's: The Peacocks played their first game in Washington since the 1995-1996 season . Saint Peter's fell to 34-85 against Atlantic 10 opponents. . Freshman F Mamadou Ndiaye left the game with a leg injury.
George Washington: At DePaul on Tuesday.
Saint Peter's: Home against Saint Francis Brooklyn on Wednesday