George Washington Nipped By Gonzaga, 96-91
Dec 7, 2003
By JOSEPH WHITE
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ronny Turiaf matched his career-high with 29 points, and Gonzaga's inside game was too much for George Washington in the 17th-ranked Bulldogs' 96-91 victory Sunday in the championship game of the BB&T Classic.
Gonzaga took control of a close game early in the second half with a series of power moves and dunks that simply outmuscled the smaller Colonials. Turiaf led the way, making 9 of 14 field goals, 10 of 12 free throws and grabbing six rebounds.
Backup guard Erroll Knight added 18 points for the Bulldogs (6-1), allowing Blake Stepp to have a rare quiet game. Stepp scored just five points, his lowest output since last December, although he also had five rebounds and four assists.
T.J. Thompson scored a career-high 28 points, making 7 of 12 3-pointers, to lead George Washington (5-2). Thompson was on a tear in the first half, scoring 22 of his team's 52 points, but he was just 1-for-7 from the field in the second half.
The Colonials were 7-for-11 from 3-point range in the first half, enough to build a 52-47 lead, but they made just 2 of 11 3-point attempts in the second half.
Thompson made three 3-pointers to account for 12 of George Washington's first 15 points. Turiaf was strong from the start, but his 2-point dunks couldn't keep pace with Thompson's 3-pointers.
The score was tied at 57 early in the second half when the Bulldogs started to pull away with a 16-5 run that included two dunks from Sean Mallon and a three-point play from Cory Violette. An alley-oop to Turiaf got the lead to 14 with 8:20 to play.
George Washington rallied to cut the lead to three on Carl Elliott's
3-pointer with less than 20 seconds remaining, but Kyle Bankhead made two free
throws to keep the lead safe.
West Virginia beat Maryland 78-77 in overtime in the third-place game.