(16) G. Washington 83

(14-1, 4-0 A 10)

Charlotte 69

(11-7, 4-2 A 10)

    4:00 PM ET, January 21, 2006

    Halton Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina

    1 2 T
    #16GW 42 4183
    CHAR 29 4069

    Top Performers

    George Washington: M. Rice 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Charlotte: D. Alexander 23 Pts, 5 Reb

    Rice's career-high 21 leads No. 18 GW past Charlotte

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Maureece Rice and George Washington (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) are approaching school history.

    Rice came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and the Colonials beat Charlotte 83-69 on Saturday to move into a tie for the second best start in school history. Rice connected on 6-of-8 from the field and Danilo Pinnock added 13 points for George Washington (14-1, 4-0 Atlantic 10).

    The win tied the team record to open the 1936-37 season. The all-time best came in 1953-54, when George Washington began that season 19-1. The Colonials also kept their place atop the conference standings.

    Not that they're counting.

    "We're not going to pay attention to what our record is or anything like that," George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said. "But what we are going to be paying attention to, are we playing good fundamental basketball and are we getting better each game."

    The Colonials are tied with Xavier for the Atlantic 10 lead and will face the Musketeers on Feb. 2 in Cincinnati.

    The previous high for Rice was 19 earlier this season.

    "The young guy is just stepping up," Hobbs said. "Whenever we need a big play or big score, he stepped up and made the play. But more importantly, he made great decisions with the basketball and I thought that was the difference. We kind of expect him to score. That's kind of what his trick is, and I thought he made great decisions with the ball."

    De'Angelo Alexander led the 49ers (11-7, 4-2) with 23 points, but Charlotte fell to 4-5 on its home court this season. That's the most losses in a season at Halton Arena since it opened in 1996. Forward Curtis Withers, who came into the game averaging a double-double, had 15 rebounds but was held to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field for Charlotte. Withers also committed six turnovers.

    Hobbs credited the team's defense.

    "I thought our defense was pretty consistent," Hobbs said. "We wanted to keep changing our defense and going between our zones and switching back to man. We wanted to keep them off balance and we didn't want Withers to get comfortable with our defenses that we were trying to throw at him."

    George Washington pulled ahead to a 14-point lead with 12:54 to go in the second half when Pinnock drew a foul and Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz was given a technical for arguing with the officials. Rice hit both free throws on the technical, and Pinnock added two more free throws to push the lead to 58-44.

    Lutz wouldn't comment about the technical.

    "We didn't play at the level you have to play to beat a team like this or Xavier," said Lutz, whose 49ers lost to Xavier on Jan. 14. "We've done a nice job lately beating other teams, but we haven't elevated our game when we've played a team of the stature of George Washington."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 69
    FG Made-Attempted 27-50 (.540) 22-61 (.361)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-17 (.294) 11-30 (.367)
    FT Made-Attempted 24-37 (.649) 14-21 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 14 2

    2005-06 Season

    » Jan 21, 2006 GW 83, @CHAR 69Recap
    Mar 4, 2006 @GW 86, CHAR 85Recap