George Washington’s offense staggered at times, but managed a consistent 46.4 field goal percentage and, after the break, was never again in danger of losing its lead.
“We were trying to play inside the whole time,” Garino said. “Even the threes that we made, always come from the inside to the outside. We have to go inside the whole game.”
Duquesne found its firepower in spurts, looking to threaten a comeback throughout play. At one point during the second half, Soko slammed a dunk so vicious, it broke the rim at the Smith Center - necessitating a long timeout, a ladder and a level before it was fixed.
Still, the Dukes ultimately bowed in the face of the Colonials’ zone.
“Our 1-3-1 was able to run some clock and nurse the lead,” Lonergan said, “And it took Mason out of the game in the second half.”
They looked especially upended by George Washington’s defense at the beginning of the first half due to a combination of turnovers and inability to rebound.
The Dukes shot 20 for 59 from the field while committing 15 turnovers, and though they were able to mount a small comeback toward the end of the first, but the Colonials halted that run quickly. Duquesne was held to 28 percent shooting in the second.
“We were more focused (in the second),” Lonergan said. “I thought our decision-making, offensively, was a little suspect in the first half, but it was much better in the second half. We didn’t want to play tentatively, but we did want to run some clock.”
George Washington next hosts Fordham on Feb. 8, while Duquesne will take on George Mason.