Wednesday , Mar , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

George Washington seeks single-season wins record at St. Bonaventure

=== George Washington seeks single-season wins record at St. Bonaventure ===

(Sports Network) – The seventh-ranked George Washington Colonials carry the
nation’s longest winning streak into tonight’s A-10 clash with the St.
Bonaventure Bonnies. On Saturday, George Washington continued its perfect run
through A-10 play with a 78-67 decision over Fordham on the road, winning its
16th straight contest. That victory was significant in that it tied the
program record for wins set in 1953-54 and later equaled in 1997-98. If
the Colonials can win tonight, and they are heavily favored to do so, only a
matchup with Charlotte this weekend stands in the way of the club
completing an unblemished conference run. As for St. Bonaventure, it is just
8-17 overall, but that mark is much better than the 2-26 record that the
club posted last season. The Bonnies enter tonight’s clash on a bit of a
high, as they have won two of their last four games. On Saturday, they
knocked off Duquesne by a 77-76 final in dramatic fashion. George Washington
owns a 26-22 lead in the all-time series with St. Bonaventure, including
an 85-59 romp over the Bonnies in the most recent meeting last season.

George Washington will be forced to play without big man Pops Mensah-Bonsu
both tonight and this weekend versus Charlotte. Mensah-Bonsu injured his knee
against La Salle last week and is expected to be held out of action until the
A-10 Tournament. In his absence, the Colonials racked up 22 assists and shot a
blistering 53.6 percent from the floor against Fordham. They also earned a
17-12 edge in points from the foul line. Maureece Rice connected on 8-of-11
field goal attempts en route to 19 points, while Danilo Pinnock contributed 17
points and eight boards. Carl Elliott tallied 16 points for George Washington,
and Mike Hall rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Overall
this season, the Colonials are averaging 79.3 ppg while surrendering 65.4 ppg
to opponents. Pinnock paces the club with 14.7 ppg, and he has dished out 76
assists as well to go along with 61 steals. Mensah-Bonsu adds 13.1 ppg and 7.1
rpg, and he will clearly be missed. Fortunately, Rice (12.3 ppg), Elliott
(11.3 ppg, 102 assists) and Hall (10.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) are more than capable of
picking up the slack.

Ahmad Smith has led St. Bonaventure in scoring in four straight games, and he
is netting 16.3 ppg this season to pace the squad. Michael Lee is second with
12.6 ppg, and he is also second on the boards with 6.8 rpg. The team’s leading
rebounder, Paul Williams, is contributing 10.0 ppg and 7.4 rpg. The Bonnies
are posting 67.9 ppg while giving up 73.2 ppg, and they have been much more
competitive this year than last. Smith showed a great deal of heart in the win
over Duquesne, as he calmly nailed two free throws with three seconds
remaining to claim the victory for the team. A 46-35 rebounding advantage
played a major role in the win, as did a 21-14 edge in points from the foul
line. Smith finished the contest with 23 points to pace his squad, while Lee
contributed 17 points. Williams was impressive as well, as he tallied 14
points and 14 boards.

Don’t expect an upset tonight, as George Washington is too well coached to be
upset by the Bonnies. Even without Mensah-Bonsu, the Colonials will roll.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 80, St. Bonaventure 64