The loss ended a 24-game home winning streak for GW, which was aiming for its 300th victory in 31 seasons at the Smith Center. GW's last loss at home was to Saint Joseph's, on March 1, 2005.
Xavier (18-7, 8-3 Atlantic 10), which outscored GW 26-11 to start the second half to take a 69-51 lead, received 15 points and seven assists from Drew Lavender and 14 points from Justin Cage. Cole, a senior, has started the last five games (the only starts of his career) after an injury to Josh Duncan.
Carl Elliott led the Colonials (15-7, 6-4), who had the fifth-best home streak in the country, with 13 points, and Maureece Rice added 12. The team's top scorer this season, Rice was held scoreless in the second half.
Xavier entered play Saturday a half-game back of first-place Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10. GW was one-half game back of Xavier before Saturday's action.
Burrell, held to five points in the first half, had back-to-back baskets to give Xavier a 60-49 lead with 12:31 left in the game. Xavier then took a 62-51 lead with 11:16 remaining on a dunk by Derrick Brown.
Justin Doellman hit a three-pointer to give Xavier a 65-51 lead with 9:43 left, and a three-pointer by Duncan gave the Musketeers a 69-51 lead with 8:41 left. Xavier ran GW out of the Smith Center in the closing minutes.
The score was tied nine times in the first half, and the lead changed hands 13 times in the first 20:00. Xavier outrebounded GW 17-10 in the first half and led 43-40 at halftime. GW had 18 turnovers in the game.