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Mensah-Bonsu Leads Unselfish Colonials

By Kathy Orton
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, December 2, 2004; Page D03

The George Washington student section loves to chant "You can't stop him" every time Pops Mensah-Bonsu scores. So far this season, few teams have managed to halt the Colonials' big man. Mensah-Bonsu recorded his third consecutive 20-point performance, scoring a career-high 27 points to lead GW to a 81-58 victory over Mount St. Mary's last night at Smith Center.

Mensah-Bonsu is showing he is more than just an athletic dunker. He has become a force inside both offensively and defensively. Besides shooting 11 of 12, he blocked four shots and grabbed seven rebounds. He came into the game averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 rebounds and helped the Colonials outscore the Mountaineers 44-14 in the lane.

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"I have to tip my hat to my teammates for giving me a chance to score," Mensah-Bonsu said. "Coach [Karl Hobbs] put an emphasis on getting the ball inside."

GW (3-1) showed tremendous unselfishness against Mount St. Mary's (1-3). The Colonials had 20 assists on 30 field goals. Most of their other baskets came in transition. For the season, 57 percent of GW's field goals are off assists. What is even more notable is that so many players have a hand in distributing the ball. Omar Williams threw a nearly perfect alley-oop pass to Mensah-Bonsu for a reverse dunk. Alex Kireev found J.R. Pinnock for a jump shot. Pinnock had five assists and was one of four players to finish with three or more assists.

"I thought we did a terrific job of moving the ball and finding the open guys," Hobbs said.

GW built its 42-30 halftime lead by holding Mount St. Mary's to 35 percent shooting in the first half. The Colonials, who led by 27 late in the game, also scored 20 points off the Mountaineers' 15 turnovers.

In the matchup between brothers, T.J. and Landy Thompson, the older brother once again came out on top. T.J., who sank one of his three-point baskets over his younger brother, scored 16 points for GW. Landy finished with 12 points, well below his season average of 21.3 points per game.

"It was a fun experience," T.J. said of playing against Landy. "Not too many brothers get to play against each other in Division I."

GEORGE MASON 79, TOWSON 61: Lamar Butler scored a career-high 28 points and made seven three-pointers to lead the Patriots at home.

The Patriots (3-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) started to put the Tigers (2-4, 0-1) away early in the second half when Butler started a barrage of three-pointers. Butler made three of them during a 16-6 run and John Vaughan hit two more to push the lead to 52-35 with 14 minutes 53 seconds to play.

Tony Skinn added 12 points for the Patriots. Mike Green scored 23 points for Towson.

NAVY 77, MORGAN ST. 67: Laramie Mergerson scored 21 points to lead the Midshipmen at home.

David Hooper added 17 points and Carlton Baldwin 14 points for Navy. Mergerson also had 10 rebounds for his third double-double in five games. Navy (3-2) shot 46 percent. Chris Grant scored 15 points for the Bears (1-4).

Women

GW 62, VILLANOVA 52: Playing their second ranked team in as many games, the Colonials upset the No. 24 Wildcats at Smith Center.

Jessica Simmonds was a force inside for the Colonials (3-1), who lost their previous game to then-No. 1 Tennessee, 71-41. Simmonds scored 19 points on 5-of-13 shooting and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Anna Montañana added 19 points.

The Wildcats (3-2) went ahead 13-5 on Jenna Viani's jump shot less than six minutes into the game. GW quickly adjusted its defense and flustered Villanova's shooters. The Wildcats went nearly 8 1/2 minutes without a field goal, missing 13 consecutive shots.

RICHMOND 62, GEORGETOWN 50: Varda Tamoulianis had nine points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort for the visiting Hoyas (1-3). The Spiders are 4-0.

UMBC 59, NAVY 46: Kate Hobbs scored 15 points to lead the visiting Midshipmen, who fell to 1-3. The Retrievers improved to 3-1.


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