Posted Saturday, Dec. 17, 6:05 p.m. Using a 20-4 run midway through the first half, the No. 15 Colonials (8-0) defeated the Hawks of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore 98-72 Saturday to secure the team’s best start to a season since the 1950s.
Senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double, registering 16 points and nine rebounds.
Junior Danilo Pinnock led the Colonials with 18 points to pace five GW players who scored in double digits. Sophomore Rice contributed 17 points and five assists on 6-for-9 shooting. Junior Carl Elliott added 16 points, seven assists and three steals. The Colonials shot 66 percent from the floor for the game.
Senior Mike Hall had 11 points and five rebounds. On a three-pointer with 19:11 remaining in the second half, Hall became the 37th player in GW men’s basketball history to score 1,000 points.
Coach Karl Hobbs credited the play of his point guards and Pinnock for establishing and dictating the game’s pace.
“I thought all three guys played very very well,” Hobbs said. “They did a great job of controlling tempo and I think that that’s what they’re going to need to do throughout the season. If they continue to do that some special things will happen for us.”
With 4:20 seconds remaining in the first half, Pinnock received an intentional foul from Art Valentine of the Eagles. A skirmish involving both teams ensued without punches being thrown. Junior Omar Williams and UMES’ Qavotstaraj Waddell were ejected from the game for leaving the team benches during the altercation. Until NCAA officials hand down a decision on the confrontation, Williams’ status for the Colonials’ next game against North Carolina State is uncertain.
Tim Parham, with 21 points and nine rebounds, and Antonio McMillion, with 17 points and eight rebounds, led the Eagles (2-8).
UMES Coach Larry Lessett was happy with his team’s performance in the game.
“They are the best team we’ve played so far,” he said of GW. “The one thing I think makes GW a real threat in the NCAA tournament is their speed.”
After a 14-day layoff, the Colonials will play their second road game against Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse NC State (19/21, ESPN/USA Today, AP).
“They are clearly the best team we’re going to play up to this point,” Hobbs said. “They’re an experienced team, they’re and NCAA Tournament team that went deep in the tournament. We have a lot of things we have to be concerned about when we play them.”
The Dec. 30 contest will also mark the first time LSU transfer Regis Koundjia will be eligible to play for the Colonials. Both coaches and players were excited for him to get on the court.
“We certainly can use him,” Hobbs said. “It is a great time for him to become eligible.”
Pinnock praised Koundjia’s versatility and what his presence will bring to the team once he can play.
“What Regis brings its just hard to put in words,” Pinnock said. “Regis can play pretty much every position on the floor.”