CUA opens season against George Washington and former coach

CUA opens season against George Washington and former coach

WASHINGTON – Dwayne Smith led four players in double figures, and Isaiah Armwood grabbed 16 rebounds to lead George Washington to a 72-46 exhibition victory over Catholic University at the Charles E. Smith Center on Saturday afternoon.

Smith scored a team-high 14 points and Lasan Kromah added 12, John Kopriva 11 and Patricio Garino 10 for the Colonials, who led almost the entire game and outrebounded the Cardinals, 45-33.

Shawn Holmes paced CUA with 14 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals. Steve Limberiou added 12 points, four boards and a pair of steals. The Cards committed 22 turnovers and forced 19.

"I'm incredibly appreciative to Coach [Mike] Lonergan and GW for playing us," Cardinal Coach Steve Howes said. "I wish we would have played better, but their size and length, combined with some very poor decisions on our part, made it difficult.

"We're an unselfish team, but we didn't always show it today."

It was the first contest between the national capital schools since 1983.

GW scored the first six points before CUA tied it at 6 on a Limberiou trey. Ahead 13-11, the Colonials scored 14 of the next 16 points to lead, 27-13, with 6:57 left before halftime. Kromah scored six points during the outburst, and Armwood had a fastbreak slam that he started with a steal and Joe McDonald helped wrap with an assist.

The Cards answered with six straight points to cut it to eight but went into the half trailing, 36-23. Limberiou led all first-half scorers with 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting.

CUA got as close as 38-29 early in the second period but a 13-2 run put GW comfortably ahead for the rest of the game.

McDonald, who started at point guard, fouled out with 7:59 to play.  He had two points, six assists and four turnovers.

"I give them credit," Lonergan said.  "Some of our tougher guys, Catholic U. came out and played them physical - at point guard and other positions.  And it really took a couple of guys out of the game, and we got into some foul trouble on different things."

Kopriva made all five of his shots and collected five rebounds. Smith was 5 of 9 from the field and 4 of 5 from the line. Garino had five boards and four assists.

Armwood made his presence felt in all aspects of the game. He tallied seven points, and eleven of his 16 rebounds came on the defensive end. He added two assists, two blocks and three steals.

Howes was impressed with the Colonials: "They've got a bright future. They're building a program the right way."

Holmes views the game as a learning experience.

"Hopefully we can learn from some of the things they did against us," he said, "and take it back and help us get better."

The Cardinals begin the regular season on Friday Nov. 16 against nationally ranked Transylvania in the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic in Owings Mills, Md. They play former Capital Athletic Conference rival and another nationally ranked foe, St. Mary's (Md.), the following night.

GW hosts Youngstown (Ohio) State on Saturday Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.

Story written by Chris McManes

Photography by Matt Barrick