Colonials Earn Right To Play In BB&T Classic Final
Dec 6, 2003
By DAVID GINSBURG
WASHINGTON - Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and George Washington blew an 18-point lead before bouncing back to defeat West Virginia 70-64 Saturday.
The victory put the Colonials (5-1) into Sunday's final of the BB&T Classic. They will play the winner of Saturday's game between Maryland and No. 17 Gonzaga.
Kevin Pittsnogle and Drew Schifino each scored 16 points and Johannes Herber had 15 for West Virginia (2-2). The Mountaineers rallied in the second half but were ultimately done in by 19 turnovers and a 44-32 rebounding deficit.
Mensah-Bonsu's tip-in with 6:02 left gave the Colonials a 56-54 lead. After a free throw by Schifino, T.J. Thompson made a 3-pointer for GW and Mensah-Bonsu added a follow-shot for a six-point lead.
West Virginia closed to 64-62 with 48 seconds left, but a three-point play by Carl Elliott put the Colonials up by five. Then, after a Mountaineer misfire, Mike Hall made two free throws to clinch it.
Down by 12 after a cold-shooting first half, the Mountaineers made five of their first six shots in the second half to pull even at 41. Pittsnogle started the 14-2 run with eight straight points.
Minutes later, Tyrone Sally scored on a drive to give West Virginia its first lead since 2-0.
But Mensah-Bonsu followed with a three-point play, and GW never trailed again.
George Washington forced 13 turnovers, outrebounded West Virginia 24-14 and
held the Mountaineers to 7-for-24 shooting in taking a 39-27 halftime lead.