Had last night's mismatch between Catholic and George Washington been a Broadway play, it would have folded after the first act.
GW found a team it could push around inside and enjoyed a 96-64 laughter before 1,200 watching at Smith Center.
Randy Davis, with his career high, and Oscar Wilmington each scored 20 points to lead the Colonials (4-6), who were routed on the road in their last two outings by a combined total of 26 points and thus were eager to take out their frustrations on someone. CU (2-8), suffering its fourth straight defeat, was that someone.
"I felt sorry for Jack (Kvancz, CU coach). After those two routs on the road, the kids took it out on Catholic," said GW Coach Bob Tallent, pleased with his team's 53 percent field goal shooting and 46-29 rebounding advantage. "We are small, but we've been trying to emphasize defense and work on our intensity. The kids really worked hard tonight."
The Colonials took full advantage of the shorter, thin Cardinals, forcing five quick mistakes and holding the visitors without a field goal for the first 9:18 of the game to take a 22-2 lead.
"What can you do, it's tough," said Kvancz. "The kids are doing the best they can. They are trying."
"We needed this game badly," said Davis, we made 10 of his 12 shots and had eight rebounds, six assists and three steals in his best overall game this season. "The coach wanted me to push the ball up the floor quicker and play tough defense. We got in a fast-paced game, the type of game we like to play."
The pace was much too quick for CU. Unable to compete on the boards or penetrate the Colonial's tough man-to-man defense, CU's offense consisted maily of outside shooting. It made only 27 of 77 attempts.
GW, which held a 41-22 lead at the half, never let up. The Colonials converted every CU mistake and missed shot into a breakaway or easy basket and led by 30 points, 67-37, with 10:21 left in the game.
Catholic was horrendous in the first half. The Cardinals missed their first 13 shots, suffering the embarrassment having five of them smacked back in their faces by Steve Perry and Wilmington.
Before John Colletta prevented a shutout from the floor with a 14-foot jump shot from the corner at 9:14, GW had taken the 22-2 lead. Colletta had proven earlier to his jittery teammates that the ball could indeed fall through the hoop by sinking two free throws with 3:56 gone in the first half.
The Cardinals weren't having much luck holding onto the ball or getting second chances at shots. They turned over the ball nine times and were out-rebounded, 27-13.
While CU was trying to solve what had become a bad mystery, GW was running up and down the court scoring at will. Davis hit five or six jump shots from the top of the circle and Paul Gracza made all four of his inside power layups en route to a 10-point first half. Gracza's layups following a steal and pass underneath from Perry, Daivs' 18-footer and Curtis Jeffrie's short jumper from the side helped the Colonials build their 20-point lead.
Colletta (10 points) and Jay Haigler (six) made a few baskets, but hardly enough to concern the now-celebrating fans.
Mason 78, Morris 70: Dave Skaff scored all of is 22 points in the second half as George Mason defeated visiting Robert Morris College of Pittsburgh, 78-70, last night.
Skaff, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, missed all nine shots in the first half but Andy Bolden kept Mason (6-4) close with 21 of his game-high 29 points in that half.
George Mason took the lead with 9:18 remaining on Skaff's jump shot and went up, 58-53, on another Skaff jumper and a jump shot by Kevin Jackson.
Morris (3-8), led by substitute Chipper Harris, closed to 62-61 with 6:10 remaining. But two more baskets by Skaff and and two by John Niehoff took the Patriots out of danger.