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Friday, December 23, 2005

GW off target in loss to SC

GW off target in loss to SC

By Rick Ryan
Assistant Sports Editor

The sound will likely be ringing through the ears of George Washington’s players for a couple of days.

Clang. Clang. Clang.

But it’s got nothing to do with Christmas time or holiday bells. It’s the sound of the Patriots’ shots bouncing off the rim in Thursday night’s early-season showdown with South Charleston.

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GW hit a mere 23 percent of its tries in falling 52-44 to the Black Eagles in a physical game held in front of a near-capacity crowd of about 950 at SC High School. South Charleston entered the game ranked fifth in Class AAA, one spot ahead of GW.

Josh Daniel, a 6-foot-5 senior and returning first-team all-stater, led South Charleston with 25 points and eight rebounds. Junior Jimmy Boardman lived up to his name, grabbing 19 rebounds, and junior Ricky Dunham, a reserve point guard, added 11 points.

Dunham also donated some solid defense in the absence of senior Will Collins, who sat out more than half the game with foul problems. Defense was a determining factor for SC, which held the Patriots to 12 field goals in 52 attempts.

“I’d like to think [our defense] had a lot to do with it,’’ said Eagles coach Bob Dawson. “Of course, we do stress defense at South Charleston. We do stress pressure and playing hard and helping. Our kids know we stress defense.’’

GW sank just 4-of-22 tries from 3-point range and saw four of its starters foul out.

“I think it was a combination of their defense and our shot selection,’’ said Patriots coach Rick Greene. “The game was physical — not dirty or anything like that — but there were people who didn’t want anybody to get a shot up. I just think we need to be a little more patient offensively. We weren’t open sometimes and still forced up shots early [in the possession].’’

Despite its shooting miseries and foul problems, George Washington still had a chance to catch up late in the game. Andrew Payne knocked down a pair of 3-pointers a few seconds apart to lower SC’s lead to 45-42 with 2:52 left.

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