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George Washington Wins Fourth Straight, James Bishop Asserts Himself as Player of the Year.

(Photo courtesy of @DavidsonMBB)

On the back of senior guard James Bishop, George Washington mounted a furious second half comeback and took down Davidson to win their fourth straight game and clinch a first round bye in the Atlantic 10 tournament. 

In the final 3:14 with the score knotted at 60, Bishop scored 11 straight points to put GW up 71-65, and they never gave up the lead. 


“We found a way to free [Bishop] a little bit,” said GW Head Coach Chris Caputo. “We were able to take advantage of that and then obviously he delivered.”

Bishop ended the night with a game high 26 points, four assists, three rebounds, and tied a career high with three steals. 

This game was a tale of two halves. GW started off the night slow, putting together a lackluster first half. They shot a paltry 37.9% from the field, went 0-8 from three, and got outrebounded 15-22. 

Rebounding has been a harbinger of success for the Buff and Blue this season. They are 14-3 when they outrebound or tie their opponents on the glass, and 1-11 when they lose the rebounding battle. 

GW flipped the script in the second half. Freshman wing Max Edwards led off the second frame with his team’s first three pointer of the night. Then, with 8:06 left, grad guard Brendan Adams sunk two free throws to give GW their first lead since the 18 minute mark in the first half. The Wildcats stayed in it for a few more minutes before Bishop took over. 

Their shooting and rebounding, which plagued them to start the game, ended up fueling their comeback. GW shot 57.1% from the field in the second half, 5-10 from deep, and outrebounded Davidson 20-12. Continuing their season-long rebounding trend, GW ended the night winning the overall rebounding battle 35-34. 

Senior forward Ricky Lindo played a major role in the rebounding shift. He finished with his second straight double double, scoring 11 points and hauling in 11 rebounds to go with one assist, one block, and one steal. Four of Lindo’s rebounds came on the offensive end, and he was able to put back two of them. 

“[Lindo] can get in there and finish on the offensive glass. He’s doing a lot of cutting, gets in there, he’s in position and finishing those plays is huge,” said Caputo. “It gives us opportunities to get some scoring from our frontcourt.”

Junior forward Sam Mennenga was Davidson’s top performer. He scored 23 points, went 3-6 from behind the arc, was a perfect 6-6 from the stripe, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out eight assists. 

“[Mennenga] can make threes, he can space, and the way they run their offense they create great opportunities for him and he’s a very, very difficult cover on the block,” said Caputo.” “He’s a good passer as well… I think he’s one of the best players in the league.”

Caputo continued the trend of relying on his starters. After only playing his reserves 22 minutes in the previous game against La Salle, they only played 19 minutes this game. 

“At this time of year, the rotation starts to get shorter,” said Caputo. “There’s no question about it and you’re not preparing for tomorrow. You’re just trying to win.”

GW’s tight rotation has been a constant talking point since late December when grad guard E.J. Clark broke his foot and was declared out for the season. Bishop and Adams are both top 10 in the country in percent of minutes played, and Caputo has often been forced to make tough decisions trying to figure out how to manage Lindo’s foul trouble.

Now, after GW has survived the majority of their season with eight healthy scholarship players, Caputo seems content to rely on his five starters: Bishop, Adams, Edwards, Lindo, and Hunter Dean, from here on out. 

With the regular season coming to a close, it is impossible not to discuss Bishop’s A-10 Player of the Year candidacy after another incredible performance. It is clear he has become the frontrunner.

“I think if the Player of the Year is the most valuable player award, then James Bishop is the Player of the Year,” said Caputo.

Bishop has certainly proven his value to GW during their four game winning streak, averaging 26.3 points, 6.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.8 3PM while providing countless clutch plays. 

This victory puts GW at 16-14 (10-7 A-10) on the season, and officially ensured them their most successful season since 2016-17, where they went 20-15 (10-8 A-10) and made the CBI quarterfinals. 

After all of the other A-10 results concluded, GW now sits at seventh place in the conference, which is the lowest spot they can end the season.

On Saturday, GW hosts VCU at the Smith Center at 4:30 p.m. on their Senior Day. That can be seen on USA Network or listened to on WRGW. If GW loses, they will stay in seventh place. If GW wins and Duquesne beats Fordham, then they go up to sixth. If GW wins and Fordham beats Duquesne, then they can jump up to fifth.