WASHINGTON -- For the question of what is the biggest win during Mike Lonergan's five seasons at George Washington, don't bother looking up old schedules or game logs. Just check out the latest box score.
Patricio Garino scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and the senior guard's energetic performance fueled George Washington's 73-68 upset win over No. 6 Virginia Monday night at Smith Center.
Tyler Cavanaugh also had 18 points for the Colonials (2-0). Sparked by a vocal crowd and numerous standout efforts, George Washington led 35-32 at halftime and for nearly the entire second half, extending the margin nine at 68-59.
Virginia's All-American Malcolm Brogdon scored a game-high 28 points including 11 straight to keep the Cavaliers (1-1) in range. His jumper pulled Virginia closer at 70-66 with 2:00 remaining, but the Cavaliers missed their next three shots, all from beyond the arc. Cavanugh essentially sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds left.
Over one stretch in the second half, during which Virginia took a brief 55-54 lead on Evan Nolte's 3-pointer, Garino scored seven straight points with two flying tip-ins and a 3-point play. He then fed Cavanaugh for a layup, giving the Atlantic 10 program 61-55 lead with 6:36 left.
GW took advantage of 23 fouls on Virginia by hitting 23 of 28 free throws including 15 of 17 in the second half. Credit the Colonials ball movement for consistently beating the Cavaliers' vaunted defense. Center Kevin Larsen's passing skills keyed the attack as he finished with a game-high five assists along with nine points and seven rebounds.
Brogdon had little help from his fellow starters, who combined for 31 points. Anthony Gill had 11 points for Virginia and Mike Robey scored his 10 in the first half. The Cavaliers shot 40.3% from the field and were outrebounded 37-33. Each George Washington starter grabbed at least five rebounds.
*The start was ugly for the Colonials. Three possessions, three turnovers and a 6-0 hole. Yet the home side calmed down, pulled ahead 13-10, led by as many as nine before entering halftime up 35-32. GW shot 50 percent from the field against Virginia's vaunted pack-line defense. Virginia center Mike Tobey led all scorers with 10 points while a trio of Colonials including Cavanaugh had eight.
* Lonergan struggled cobbling together a reliable bench in recent seasons. Things might be different this season in terms of talent and trust. Longeran swapped players in and out like a hockey coach in the first half, using 10 players in 10 minutes. At times he only had reserves on the court and at one point made a complete 5-man lineup change. Jorgensen's play at point guard helped the second unit fuel the back half of the opening 13-4 run.
* It's no stretch saying the Colonials were among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country over the last two seasons. By worst we mean least interested; They ranked 257th (5.5 per game) and 228 (5.7). Adding perimeter threats like Alex Mitola, Matt Hart and Cavanaugh to McDonald, Watanabe and Jorgensen changes things. At times Lonergan had an actual 3-point shooting lineup on the court. Now, the shots didn't fall (4 of 15), but the signs for better days ahead exist. In this game, GW shot a touch better than Virginia (5 of 20).
Up next: Thursday at South Florida