Colonials Continue Hot Streak With Win Over 49ers

Jan. 21, 2006

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - George Washington matched the second best start in school history with an 83-69 win at Charlotte on Saturday in the Atlantic 10.

Maureece Rice came off the bench and scored a career high 21 to lead the No. 16 Colonials (14-1, 4-0 Atlantic 10), who tied their record that opened the 1936-37 season. The all-time best came in 1953-54, when George Washington began that season 19-1.

The win also kept the Colonials tied atop the Atlantic 10 standings with Xavier, which had won at Charlotte on Jan. 14. George Washington's showdown with Xavier will be Feb. 2 in Cincinnati.

De'Angelo Alexander led the 49ers (11-7, 4-2) with 23 points, but Charlotte fell to 4-5 on its home court this season. Curtis Withers, who came into the game averaging a double-double, had 15 rebounds but was held to 9 points on 2 of 9 shooting from the field for Charlotte. Withers also committed six turnovers.

George Washington pulled ahead to a 14-point lead with 12:54 to go in the second half when Colonials guard Danilo Pinnock drew a foul and Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz was given a technical for arguing with the officials. Rice hit both free throws on the technical, and Pinnock added two more free throws to push the lead to 58-44.

Rice scored nine points as George Washington took a 42-29 halftime lead.

The Colonials used an 8-0 run midway through the first half to turn a 17-13 lead into a 25-13 advantage with about 7:39 remaining in the period. Charlotte closed within five points with a 9-2 stretch of its own to cut the deficit to 27-22 with about 5:36 to go. But George Washington responded with a 9-2 finish to the half for the 13-point advantage.

George Washington shot 58 percent from the field in the opening half and held Charlotte to just under 29 percent. Alexander led all scorers with 11 points in the half for Charlotte.