(7) G. Washington 89

(25-1, 15-0 A 10)

St. Bonaventure 78

(8-18, 2-13 A 10)

    7:00 PM ET, March 1, 2006

    Reilly Center, Saint Bonaventure, New York

    1 2 T
    #7GW 40 4989
    SBON 37 4178

    Top Performers

    George Washington: O. Williams 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

    St. Bonaventure: M. Lee 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Blk

    No. 6 GW keeps winning streak alive vs. Bonnies

    OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) -- George Washington had no Pops, no jump and was down six points in front of a loud crowd of St. Bonaventure fans.

    The Colonials (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) came back from bigger deficits seven times this season. They did it one more time.

    Danilo Pinnock and Maureece Rice keyed a 13-point run in the second half that helped George Washington beat the Bonnies 89-78 Wednesday night and extend the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games.

    "We've been in a lot worse situations," said Pinnock, who scored 15 points. "We know as long as we don't panic we'll have a chance to win it at the end."

    Rice scored eight of his 16 points in the decisive run and Omar Williams finished with 18 for the Colonials (25-1, 15-0 Atlantic 10), who set a school record for most victories in a season.

    The win against the Bonnies didn't come easy and it didn't help that the Colonials were playing their second game without senior forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu. George Washington's second-leading scorer and rebounder had surgery on his left knee and is not expected to return until the NCAA tournament.

    "We really missed him today, particularly just trying to establish an inside game to establish a tone," coach Karl Hobbs said. "He's a hard guy to replace."

    Michael Lee had 18 points for St. Bonaventure (8-18, 2-13), which is guaranteed finishing no better than 13th in the 14-team conference and was eliminated from competing in the A-10 tournament next week. The Bonnies have lost 12 straight games against ranked teams.

    With No. 1 Duke (27-2) losing to Florida State on Wednesday, the Colonials are the nation's only team with one loss.

    George Washington needs only to beat Charlotte in its regular-season finale on Saturday to become only the fourth A-10 school -- and first since Saint Joseph's in 2003-04 -- to go undefeated in conference play.

    Down 65-61 with 7:33 left, the Colonials responded with the decisive 3-minute run that Rice started with a 3-pointer.

    Pinnock then put George Washington ahead for good when he hit an open 3. Rice followed a miss by Ahmad Smith with a pullup 3-pointer and the run was on, bolstered by the Colonials' strong transition game.

    Pinnock hit a layin and Rice completed the run when he hit two free throws after being fouled attempting to catch a long pass beneath the Bonnies' basket.

    "No way am I disappointed in the effort or our execution," Bonnies coach Anthony Solomon said. "We were going head to head with one of the better teams in the country and we just didn't get it down the stretch."

    It was a gutsy effort by a Bonnies team that has still not fully recovered from the effects of a 2003 recruiting scandal that led to NCAA sanctions and the dismissal of coach Jan van Breda Kolff. This was a team that two years ago didn't have enough scholarship players to hold a full practice, and a team that won a school-worst two games last season.

    Hobbs gave the Bonnies full credit, too.

    But he also credited his team's experience in having won tight games and coming from behind.

    The Colonials have overcome deficits of seven or more points seven times this season. That includes their 89-85 win at Xavier in which they trailed by 17 in the first half.

    "No one wants to come down here for a nail-biter," Hobbs said. "Yeah, we'd like to make the game easier. ... My life insurance agent would like for them, too."

    Hobbs is optimistic Mensah-Bonsu will return for the NCAA tournament, but cautioned that it's not a guarantee. Believing Mensah-Bonsu has a future in the NBA, Hobbs said he will not rush his player back into the lineup unless he's 100 percent.

    "If it's a decision where it looks like he's coming back a little too early and I think it may jeopardize his long-term ability to play in the NBA, then he won't come back," Hobbs said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 89 78
    FG Made-Attempted 29-61 (.475) 29-67 (.433)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-19 (.526) 6-22 (.273)
    FT Made-Attempted 21-32 (.656) 14-18 (.778)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 11 2

    2005-06 Season

    » Mar 1, 2006 GW 89, @SBON 78Recap