The 2015-2016 NCAA Basketball season had its ups and downs for both the men’s and women’s Colonial Squads, however it did have some memorable moments. Who could ever forget the unbelievable upset against number 6 UVA in early November? This game, which provided plenty of exciting plays, clutch shooting, and down to the wire intense defense which earned GW a spot at #25 on the NCAA’s top 25 standings. In the Barclays Classic Semifinal game, the Colonials beat and ended the rally started by the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half 73-70 before losing to #24 Cincinnati in the final.
Despite having a disappointing A-10 Tournament campaign which affected them not receiving an invite to the NCAA Tournament, their showing in the NIT Tournament has pleased many thus far. Alex Mitola’s game winning runner with four seconds remaining in the game gave GW the 82-80 victory over Hofstra and their solid win over NCAA darlings Monmouth advanced the Colonials into the quarterfinals. Last Wednesday’s win against the Florida Gators 82-77 at the Smith Center took out a major conference team as Junior Tyler Cavanaugh scored 23 points and Kevin Larsen added a double-double with 19 points and a season-high 13 boards in the crucial win. As of this writing GW is playing in the semifinals vs. San Diego State. Stay tuned as we hopefully anticipate GW continuing to surprise many in their NIT campaign and hopefully bring that title home.
The GW women’s basketball team proved to have a formidable season as well. Led by superstar senior Jonquel Jones, the Lady Colonials won the Atlantic-10 Conference Championship for the second year in a row and sixth time overall. It beat third-seeded Duquesne in the final 63-60 led by Junior Hannah Schaible’s 17 points and Junior Caira Washington’s 9 points and 12 rebounds as she took Most Outstanding Player Honors. Their A-10 victory earned them a berth in the NCAA Tournament where they drew Kansas State in the first round. GW and Kansas State were seeded #8 and #9 respectively and the contest proved to be as much of a nail biter as it was expected for these evenly-matched teams. Unfortunately, GW lost 56-51 in this defensive struggle and bowed out in the first round, but there is no reason for the team not to keep their heads held high. Jones was named to the AP All-American Honorable Mention Team, which is the program’s second ever player to hold that honor, and she was also named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Second Team.