7:30 PM ET, December 2, 2005
Charles E. Smith Center, Washington, District of Columbia
WASHINGTON (AP) -- George Washington's big man made his season debut Friday night, and he was so pumped he was practically useless.
After serving a three-game suspension for NCAA violations that related to his early declaration for the NBA draft, Pops Mensah-Bonsu missed a dunk on his first shot attempt and scored only four points on 2-for-5 shooting Friday night in the Colonials' (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today; No. 19 AP) 75-62 victory over winless and undermanned Boston University.
"I was little bit more excited than I expected, and I just couldn't really get it going," said Mensah-Bonsu, who averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. "I'm glad my teammates were able to pick up my slack."
So far, GW's schedule -- which has included Kennesaw State, Norfolk State and St. Francis of Pennsylvania -- has allowed Mensah-Bonsu's teammates to win without him, but that's quickly about to end. The Colonials (4-0) play Maryland (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) on Monday in the BB&T Classic at the MCI Center, the pinnacle of an otherwise very soft slate of games to open the season.
Plus, the Terrapins will be looking to avenge last year's loss to their local rivals.
"We have a major problem on Monday," GW coach Karl Hobbs said. "We're playing against a team that's determined to succeed. We've got to play far better than we've played to this point."
Maureece Rice scored 17 points, Mike Hall had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Carl Elliott had 13 points and five steals for the Colonials, who went 11-for-22 from 3-point range but had trouble putting the Terriers away. GW led by one with 14 minutes to play, but 3s by Hall and Omar Williams spurred a 12-3 run to swing the momentum.
Shaun Wynn made 6 of 8 3-pointers and scored 18 points -- the most by any Terriers player this season -- to lead Boston University, 0-5 for the first time since 1999. BU committed 19 turnovers, negating its 56 percent shooting from the field, and has yet to score more than 64 points this season.
The Terriers dressed nine players and were missing sophomore forward Tony Gaffney, who was suspended this week for violating team rules and won't return until the end of the semester at the earliest. Sophomore guard Matt Wolff is likely out for the season after tearing ligaments in his left knee Tuesday against Rhode Island, and freshman Ben Coblyn is sidelined with a sprained right ankle from a loss to Michigan.
"I've scheduled our team and these kids into a tough situation," coach Dennis Wolff said. "Within the first week of the season we've played Duke, Michigan, URI and GW, and we have some injuries and we have some other issues. That being said, I think you could tell by the effort they gave tonight, this is how hard these kids have played in every game. Once we get ourselves healthy and we can get some time to practice a little more, we'll be fine."
Wolff said his players got tired as the second half progressed.
"If any of you guys got stuff on, I could've put you in," he told reporters.
The Colonials trailed 14-6, but two 3-pointers from Elliott in a 14-0 run and a half-closing 9-2 spurt appeared to put GW in control 42-29 at the break. But the Terriers opened the second half with a 16-4 run, pulling within one at 46-45 with 14:07 remaining on Wynn's third 3-pointer of the half, before GW again found the rhythm with its outside shooting.
All the Colonials' focus is now on Maryland. Because GW has trouble drawing top-level teams to its home court, the Terrapins game is a rare meeting with a ranked team that could help the resume when the NCAA bids are dished out in March. Hobbs needs his defense to improve, and he needs Mensah-Bonsu to relax.
"I'm worried about everything," Hobbs said. "Are you kidding me? Have you seen us these last three games? I really am. My concern is teams are shooting high percentages against us. That's something we have to get better at."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-43 (.558)||28-63 (.444)|
|3P Made-Attempted||10-23 (.435)||11-22 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||4-8 (.500)||8-9 (.889)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||13 (0/0)||10 (0/0)|
|» Dec 2, 2005||@GW 75, BU 62||Recap|