George Washington Seeks Eighth Straight Win Against Florida International
Dec. 23, 2004
AP - After a break for exams, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and 20th-ranked George Washington looked a little rusty in defeating Towson over the weekend.
The Colonials will get a chance to build on that victory and win their eighth in a row Thursday night when they visit Florida International at Pharmed Arena.
Mensah-Bonsu, a junior center, had 15 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season as George Washington (7-1) defeated Towson 85-69 on Saturday. Mensah-Bonsu, who is shooting 60.8 percent (48-of-79), made just 5 of 14 shots in George Washington's first game in a week. The 6-foot-9 native of London is averaging team highs of 17.1 points and 7.6 rebounds.
"I think we missed four dunks and we have a rule that if you can't dunk, lay it in. So we missed some easy layups, and it's unusual for Pops to go 5-for-14," George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said.
"But overall, we still put up 85 points, and I'm happy with that. And overall, the defense was fairly good for us. If we can keep teams shooting 40 percent, we will have some success."
The Colonials had no trouble getting off to a good start as they led Towson 29-8 midway through the first half. But George Washington went cold thereafter, finishing just 15-of-40 from the field in the first half as Towson cut the deficit to 40-31 at the break.
Ricky Lucas and Omar Williams helped the Colonials pull away in the final 20 minutes. Lucas scored 13 of his season-high 14 points in the second half, and Williams added 10 of his 12 in the first 10 minutes of the second.
"Getting out of the gate, (Lucas) was thinking about that anthropology exam in the first half," Hobbs joked. "After he shook that off in the second half and he missed the dunk...we stayed right with them, and he separated the game because he hit two 3s in a row. That kept the momentum in our favor."
George Washington finished with 12 steals and a season-best seven blocked shots, scoring 27 points off turnovers.
"We have to finish off the easy plays," Hobbs added. "We get layups, we've got to finish them, especially going on the road. We're going to need every basket because winning on the road is a very difficult thing to do."
The Colonials have another road game next Wednesday before beginning Atlantic 10 play against La Salle on Jan. 15.
Florida International (5-4) is hosting a ranked opponent for the first time since an 85-81 loss to then-No. 25 College of Charleston on Feb. 13, 1997.
The Golden Panthers had won consecutive games before Monday's 74-66 loss to South Florida. Ismael N'Diaye scored 22 points and Byron Burnett added 16 in 21 minutes off the bench for Florida International, which made just 2 of 14 shots from beyond the arc.
Starting guard Junior Matias, who is averaging a team-high 15.5 points, missed the game with a sprained right thumb. Matias is questionable for Thursday.
The Colonials have won both previous meetings with the Golden Panthers, including a 76-67 home win last season when Mensah-Bonsu scored 20 points.