George Washington scored four and then five straight points in overtime and defeated Rhode Island, 76-71, tonight in an Eastern Eight game.

Penny Elliott (17 points, 10 rebounds) scored the first four points of overtime to give the Colonials (8-4 overall, 3-0 league) a 65-61 advantage. But the Rams (5-5 overall, 0-3 league) rallied to tie at 65 on Terry Pittman's jumper with 2:54 left.

GW then scored the next five points and Rhode Island never recovered. Mike Brown (18 points, six rebounds) put in a layup at 2:32, Dave Hobel made a free throw at 1:10 and Wilbert Skipper got a breakaway layup with 51 seconds left for a 70-65 lead.

George Washington expanded a 22-20 halftime lead to 54-47 with just under seven minutes left in regulation before the Rams came back.

Marc Upshaw and Kevin Whiting made jumpers to cut the deficit to 58-57. Mike Brey made two free throws with 55 seconds left to give the Colonials a 60-57 lead, but Whiting countered with two free throws to make it 60-59. Brown made his only free throw in six tries with 13 seconds left, then Rhode Island's Pappy Owens sank an 18-footer with one second remaining to send the game into overtime, 61-61.

Upshaw, the conference's leading scorer with a 22-point average, was held to 10 points.

It was the first game back at his alma mater for GW Coach Gary Gimelstob, Rhode Island class of '72. By winning their eighth game this year, the Colonials matched last year's total.