The George Washington University: Men's Basketball

George Washington Rolls Past Richmond

Pops Mensah-Bonsu drives to the basket against Richmond's Peter Thomas (13) and Drew Crank (50) during the first half. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
 
Pops Mensah-Bonsu drives to the basket against Richmond's Peter Thomas (13) and Drew Crank (50) during the first half. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
 

Feb. 5, 2006

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WASHINGTON (AP) - George Washington played the way it wanted to and patient Richmond never had a chance.

The 10th-ranked Colonials, who average over 80 points per game, got the tempo going their way early and beat Richmond 80-55 on Sunday.

The Spiders entered the game second in the nation in scoring defense at 53.5 points per game but George Washington used its defense to set the tone.

"Our defense allowed the game to be played at a much faster pace and I think that was the difference," Colonials coach Karl Hobbs said.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Danilo Pinnock each scored 16 points and Mike Hall added 15 for George Washington (18-1, 8-0 Atlantic 10), which won its 10th straight and moved within one win of matching the best start in the program's history.

Kevin Steenberge lead the Spiders (11-10, 4-4) with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Colonials took control with a 19-4 first-half run and they dictated the pace to the Spiders by pressuring them at both ends of the court. The Colonials forced 14 first-half turnovers that lead to 12 points, most of them in transition.

"Our intensity was terrific," Hobbs said. "I thought we forced them to have to play the way we wanted them to play. They had been able to dictate their style of play against everyone and we wanted to make sure that they had to play the way we wanted them to play."

The Spiders finished with 22 turnovers and shot 37 percent from the field while the Colonials' balanced attack shot 52 percent led by Mensah-Bonsu's 7-of-8.

"They cover so much ground and they are so fast that it is difficult," Richmond's first-year coach Chris Mooney said of facing George Washington. "Passes that are open one second aren't open the next."

Mensah-Bonsu and Hall keyed the 19-4 run midway through the first half that put the Colonials comfortably ahead and they lead 33-18 at halftime. Jermaine Bucknor, the Spiders' leading scorer, picked up two fouls in the opening minute and didn't score in the first half. He finished with 12 points.

 

 

Spurred on by a sellout crowd of 5,000, the Colonials continued to apply pressure to the Spiders in the opening moments of the second half. Mensah-Bonsu and Pinnock combined for all 17 GW points in the opening 5 minutes of the half, stretching the lead to 50-29. Pinnock had 12 points in the second half and had four steals against Richmond's Princeton-style offense.

"At the beginning of the game, I was a little timid to jump out into the passing lanes because of how they play," Pinnock said. "Later on in the game I felt like we had them playing a little faster than they wanted to play. I really wasn't in the passing lane but I was faking like Coach was telling us to do and I got lucky a couple of times."

The Colonials, who cracked the Top Ten this week for the first time since January 1956, need a win against Dayton on Wednesday for a 19-1 mark, trying the record of the 1953-54 team.

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