Anyone who thought that senior Pops Mensah-Bonsu was having a down season will need to reconsider after Wednesday night. Mensah-Bonsu had a breakout game in GW’s 94-78 win over Duquesne with a career-high 29 points at the A.J. Polumbo Center in Pittsburgh.
“I think (GW head coach Karl) Hobbs emphasized getting me the ball coming into this game so I knew coming into tonight that I had to be ready to play,” Mensah-Bonsu told WMET after the game.
With the win, the GW men’s basketball team improves to 15-1 overall and 5-0 in the Atlantic 10. The 5-0 in-league record is GW’s best since the 1975-76 season.
Aiding the explosive Mensah-Bonsu was a well-balanced offensive attack with four other players in double figures. Senior Mike Hall and junior Danilo (J.R.) Pinnock had 13 apiece. Senior Omar Williams had 11 points while sophomore Maureece Rice dropped 10.
Now that the Colonials have made it through 16 games with only one loss and a sustained spot in the top 25 of college basketball, Saturday’s home game against Rhode Island should be one of the Colonials’ most physical battles of the year.
Last season, the Colonials traveled to Kingston, R.I., in an ESPN-televised game and defeated the Rams to notch the A-10 West title outright. GW held the Rams to 39 points on 14-for-55 shooting, getting 11 rebounds from Hall. Pinnock had 17 points while Carl Elliott notched 14.
With 15:38 left in the first half, Elliott received a technical foul that led to a tussle with Pinnock under the hoop. The Rams eventually receded and GW took the game over.
Last year, the Rams compiled a 6-22 overall record with a 4-12 record in the A-10. The conference wins were against St. Bonaventure, Duquesne, and two late season shockers over Saint Joseph’s and Temple in Rhode Island.
This season, the Rams return some working parts from last year’s six-win season, fifth-year seniors Dawan Robinson and Jamaal Wise. Robinson was considered one of the league’s best players during the 2003-2004 season, earning himself a spot on the preseason first-team all-conference squad. Robinson averaged 15.1 points per game his junior year and scored 29.7 percent of his team’s points.
The Colonials lead Rhode Island 22-21 in the all-time series and they haven’t lost at home to the Rams since Jan. 26, 2002.