No. 24 Colonials Down Duquesne

Jan. 8, 2005

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Duquesne coach Danny Nee isn't convinced 23 teams deserve to be ranked ahead of George Washington. It's only early January, but Nee sees the Colonials playing well into March - and, possibly, April.

T.J. Thompson scored the first eight points of George Washington's 16-4 run late in the first half and the No. 24 Colonials withstood a sluggish second half to beat Duquesne 81-57 on Saturday night.

Mike Hall scored 19 points, Thompson added 17 and J.R. Pinnock returned from a one-game suspension for violating an unspecified team rule to score 15 points off the bench. Thompson scored all but three of his points in the first half and Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 13 for the Colonials (10-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10).

"Last year, I felt (NCAA quarterfinalist) Saint Joseph's was really good and would do something," Nee said. "I feel the same way about GW. They're athletic, they've got some remarkable shooters and great intensity on defense. Nationally, they're underrated - I'm almost positive they're a Top 10 or 15 team. They can do something special later this year."

The Colonials hit their first seven shots - four from 3-point range - while making all but eight of 28 shots in the first half. They never led by fewer than 15 points after that despite scoring only 11 points in the first 14{ minutes of an erratic second half.

"In the first half, the knockout was delivered, and they just toyed with us after that," Nee said.

George Washington ended Duquesne's two-game winning streak and beat the Dukes (4-11, 1-1) for the 19th time in 22 games, and the second time in as many seasons by a wide margin in Pittsburgh. They won there 86-63 last season.



Duquesne hasn't beaten a ranked team in 16 tries since upsetting then-No. 16 Xavier on the road Jan. 25, 1997, and hasn't defeated one at home since beating then-No. 18 Xavier in March 1993.

Despite Bryant McAllister's 19 points, the Dukes - coming off a double-overtime, 94-93 win at Dayton - didn't come close to upsetting the Atlantic 10's only ranked team.

"We couldn't get any stops on defense," McAllister said. "If we got stops, we didn't get rebounds. They got 10 points on layups just off their transition defense in the first half."

George Washington led 18-11 before missing its first shot, and never was threatened after the Thompson-led run stretched an eight-point lead into a 20-point margin, 46-26, on freshman Maureece Rice's basket with 1:27 remaining in the half.

"Sometimes the ball just goes in," Hall said, explaining GW's excellent first-half shooting. "We had terrific ball movement from wing to wing and sometimes from the post and the ball just fell."

Thompson's left-handed driving layup started the 16-4 run, and he followed with 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. Thompson, shooting 53.2 percent from 3-point range, was 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in the first half before missing both attempts in the second half.

"They played close to a perfect first half," Nee said. "They made us look inept."

George Washington coach Karl Hobbs wasn't quite as impressed, saying, "I was happy with the first half, but I wasn't pleased with our defense. We had moments when the shot clock was running down and we broke down and give them a layup. I thought we did a better job of correcting that in the second half."

Duquesne never got closer than 15 points after halftime, at 55-40, even though the Colonials made only 5 of their first 17 shots in the second half.

"Their whole team is athletic," said Duquesne's Kieron Achara, who had 12 points. "They can jump out of the gym. They're the most athletic team we've played against."

Duquesne has played three other teams now in the Top 25: No. 16 Pittsburgh, No. 21 West Virginia and No. 25 Boston College, all of which beat the Dukes.

George Washington won its 10th in 11 games, a span that includes wins over No. 20 Michigan State and No. 22 Maryland.

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