PARKERSBURG - The Big Reds (7-12) never lead here Monday night at Memorial Fieldhouse despite receiving a 25-point effort from Dru Aldridge, as visiting George Washington (14-4) prevailed, 61-51, in a Mountain State Athletic Conference contest.
George Washington controlled the opening tip and took the lead just 39 seconds into the game on a jumper from MSAC Player of the Year Luke Eddy. Eddy, whose father, uncle and grandfather, all played for the Big Reds, led GW in scoring and rebounds, scoring 23 points on the evening, five points below his season average, and grabbing five rebounds.
The Big Reds pulled even a minute later on free throws from Jordan Colebank. The next score by GW put the Patriots ahead for good with 6:18 left in the first quarter on a three-point goal from Dominik King. The Big Reds would pull to within four, the closest they would get the rest of the game, at 11-7 with 4:38 left in the first period. The first quarter ended with GW up by seven, 20-13, leading the way for the Big Reds was Aldridge who hit two threes and a free throw scoring seven points.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Ben Umpleby drives through the middle of the George Washington defense Monday as Alex Lewis, left, and Austin Breeden defend. Umpleby's teammate, Jordan Colebank, bottom left, keeps George Washington's Chris Kay blocked away from the action. George Washington scored a 61-51 victory.
The second quarter opened with a Big Reds mini-run to draw within four points but GW once again had an answer to the Big Reds. The Patriots reeled off a 13-5 run to extend the lead to 10 at the end of the second quarter. GW called a 30-second timeout up by six points and proceeded to rip off the final seven points of the streak. Austin Breeden led the charge, scoring four points during the run. Leading the way for the Big Reds at halftime was Ben Umpleby with 13 points while Eddy led GW with 11 points.
The second half started miserably for the Big Reds as they were not able to get on the board until a short jumper by Reid Strobl with 5:10 left on the third-quarter clock. There was no such drought for GW, who expanded the lead to 15 points before the Big Reds were able to get on the board. Eddy and Breeden led the charge for GW, scoring the next seven points between the two of them. The Big Reds were able to muster 11 points in the third quarter but by the end of the period GW's lead was up to 16, 50-34.
In the final quarter of play, the Big Reds were twice able to pull within 11 points,but couldn't close the gap any further each time. It appeared PHS was gearing up to go on a run until the game was stopped as a Big Red fan was removed from the crowd for unsportsmanlike conduct toward GW players.
The Big Reds held GW to its lowest point total in the four quarters by holding them to 11 and exploding for 17 points themselves. Ben Umpleby and Dru Aldridge led the charge for the Big Reds in the final period scoring six and seven points respectively.
Parkersburg will look to head into the MSAC tournament with a win, when they face Logan today at Memorial Fieldhouse.