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Colonials top Terps for best start since '92

WASHINGTON (AP) -- George Washington coach Karl Hobbs isn't
interested in stealing headlines from local rival Maryland.

Duplicating the traditional success of the Terrapins (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) would suit
him just fine, and the Colonials took a large step in that
direction Monday night.

Reserve Maureece Rice scored a career-high 19 points and Mike
Hall had 14 points and 12 rebounds, leading George
Washington (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) past Maryland 78-70 in the BB&T Classic.

Danilo Pinnock also scored 19 points for the Colonials (5-0),
off to their best start since 1992. George Washington has won four
of the last six meetings between the local rivals, including two
straight.

For Hobbs, however, this wasn't about bragging rights.

"We're trying to be D.C.'s college basketball team. We're
trying to get ourselves in position for a special season," he
said.

And Hobbs would love to see the Colonials have a run like the
Terrapins experienced under coach Gary Williams, who guided
Maryland into the NCAA tournament over 11 consecutive years,
including the 2002 national championship, before coming up short
last season.

"We're trying to copy Coach Williams. Eleven straight NCAA
tournaments," Hobbs said. "I'll be happy with three straight."

The Colonials made it last year, and Monday night they looked
capable of making a return trip, outrebounding Maryland 41-40 and
forcing 25 turnovers.

"We wanted to make them have to make decisions at quick
speed," Hobbs said. "I thought that was the difference."

Chris McCray scored 21 points and James Gist had 11 for Maryland
(5-2), which couldn't overcome a spirited performance by the
Colonials in the one-day tournament that featured three games
involving Washington-area teams.

"You're going to turn it over. The thing is, you've got to stop
the other team," Williams said. "We made it tough on ourselves
with so many turnovers.

"I'm disappointed in myself. I've got to do a better job;
that's what it comes down to," he added. "We didn't execute well
tonight."

It was 51-all before Hall made a putback, Carl Elliott added a
tip-in and Pinnock followed with a dunk to give the Colonials the
lead for good. The teams then traded baskets before GW forward Pops
Mensah-Bonsu fouled out with 6:43 to go.

That left the Colonials without their star big man, and
Maryland's Nik Caner-Medley and Ekene Ibekwe immediately followed
with a layups to get the Terrapins to 63-62.

But Maryland never could complete the comeback. Pinnock scored
on a drive and Omar Williams made two free throws to start an 8-1
run that made it 71-63 with 2:35 remaining.

At that point, the Terrapins fans began filing out of the MCI
Center and the Colonials began celebrating.

"We didn't come into the game looking at it as a big of a
challenge as everybody made it out to be," Hall said. "It was
just a great win and a great atmosphere."

A driving layup by Rice, a sophomore guard, and two free throws
by Pinnock put George Washington up 44-35 with 15:47 left. One
minute later, however, Mensah-Bonsu got his fourth foul and went to
the bench.

It was 48-42 before McCray hit three 3-pointers over a 44-second
span, lifting the Terrapins into a tie at 51.

That set the stage for the pivotal 6-0 run that put George
Washington in control.

The Colonials shot 29 percent in the first half, but forced 14
turnovers in taking a 34-29 lead.

After GW scored the game's first five points, Maryland got two
baskets apiece from D.J. Strawberry and Gist in a 10-0 run capped
by two free throws by Travis Garrison.

It was 14-6 before the Colonials got their first basket in more
than 6 minutes, a follow by Hall that sparked a 12-3 spurt that
gave George Washington an 18-17 lead. Minutes later, Rice hit a
3-pointer among three straight Maryland turnovers to make it 26-21.

The margin swelled to six points before a technical foul on
Elliott enabled the Terrapins to cut into the deficit. But Hall
nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.