Colonials Capture Season-Opener

Nov. 21, 2003

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - J.R. Pinnock scored with 31 seconds to play and Carl Elliott had a pair of late steals to seal George Washington's 80-76 victory over Charlotte in a season opener Friday night.

The game was tied at 74 when Pinnock put the Colonials on top to stay with a driving layup. Elliott then took the ball away from Charlotte's Brendan Plavich and quickly called timeout.

Lafonte Johnson was fouled when play resumed and made both his free throws to give George Washington a 78-74 lead with 21 seconds left. Elliott had another steal, Pinnock was fouled and made one of two shots to make it 79-74.

Mitchell Baldwin scored for Charlotte with 4.8 seconds to play, but George Washington closed it with one more free throw by T.J. Thompson.

Thompson led the Colonials with 19 points. Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 14, Elliott added 12 and Johnson scored 10.

Calvin Clemmons led Charlotte with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Baldwin added 16, Eddie Basden had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Butter Johnson had 11 rebounds.

The game was a meeting between two future Atlantic 10 foes. Charlotte is leaving Conference USA in 2005-06 to join the Colonials in the A-10.

Charlotte took a 70-65 lead on Brown's two free throws with 4:26 to play, then was outscored 15-6 the rest of the way.

Martin Iti, Charlotte's heralded 7-foot recruit, got off to a rocky collegiate start with four fouls that limited him to five minutes of play and no points or rebounds.