George Washington Defeats Saint Louis In OT, 69-64
Pinnock's double-double leads Colonials to wild win.
Jan. 11, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) - As he usually does after a win, George Washington coach Karl Hobbs went to the microphone and addressed the fans after the final buzzer.
This time, he chastised them for booing.
For the second straight game, the 17th-ranked Colonials had to rally in the second half and win in overtime against a team it was expected to handle easily. Danilo Pinnock had 19 points, seven in the overtime, and a career-high 12 rebounds in Wednesday night's 69-64 victory over Saint Louis.
Get used to it, Hobbs told the crowd, there's more like it on the way.
"People are overassessing who we are at this point," Hobbs said. "Every game is going to be a tough game when you get into league play. We're not going to win every game. Let me just give you the facts: We're just a team that's overachieving a little bit. No more, no less."
Omar Williams and Carl Elliot each scored 10 points for the Colonials (11-1, 2-0 Atlantic 10). Danny Brown scored a career-high 23 points for the Billikens (7-7, 1-1), who have alternated wins with losses every game the entire season.
In a game of wild swings, the Colonials rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit, then blew an eight-point lead before forcing overtime on Williams' layup with 22 seconds left. Brown had a chance to tie, but his 3-point attempt slipped out of his hands at the regulation buzzer, leading to another frustrating finish for a team that is looking to get over the hump of inconsistency.
"Once I saw I was open, maybe I got too excited," Brown said. "I said, 'This will be just like practice.' It slipped out."
George Washington scored the first six points of overtime and kept the lead thanks to two offensive rebounds by Pinnock, including one he tipped in to make it 65-59 with 55 seconds remaining.
"We've been in the enough situations where we've been on the other side of that game where it's been close at the end and we can't pull it out," Pinnock said. "I think we're a little bit more mature now."
Both teams struggled at the free throw line. Saint Louis went 5-for-15, while George Washington made 17 of 28.
"This will sound a little strange, but we did not play good basketball tonight," Saint Louis coach Brad Soderberg said. "I'm sure that the outside observer will say they really played tough against a top-ranked team on the road and blah, blah, blah. We turned it over 20 times. We were not able to keep people off the glass when it mattered most. And we shot like a junior high team from the free throw line."
Ian Vouyoukas, Saint Louis' leading scorer, didn't score until 3:22 remaining in the first half and was held to six points on 2-for-4 shooting by Pops Mensah-Bonsu and constant double-teams.
"We were banging the whole game, and it took a toll on me at some point," Vouyoukas said. "I'll be hurting tomorrow."
The fans booed after Brown's layup capped a 7-0 run that gave Saint Louis a 32-23 lead early in the second half. After a timeout, the Colonials turned up the defense.
Maureece Rice made a steal at midcourt and passed ahead to Pinnock, who was fouled hard as he made his layup and celebrated by pumping his fists as he rolled on the baseline. He made the free throw for the three-point play to put GW ahead 42-40.
Kevin Lisch made a 3-pointer to give the Billikens a 54-50 lead with 2:13 left. Williams made two of four free throws in the next minute to cut the lead to two, and his driving layup tied the game at 54 to force overtime.
Anthony Drejaj, the Billikens' best outside shooter, returned after missing three games with a right foot injury, but he had to leave the game with 12 minutes remaining when he turned his left ankle playing defense.efense.