All things considered, Rhode Island Coach Brendan Malone would rather Mike Brown had been in Syracuse tonight.

Several years ago, as an assistant coach at Syracuse, Malone had tried to recruit the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder to the Carrier Dome, but Brown chose to attend George Washington.

Thus, tonight Brown was in Rhode Island and scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds, leading a well-balanced George Washington offense as the Colonials defeated the Rams, 93-84, in an Atlantic 10 Conference game.

Brown, still playing with a painful big toe on his left foot, made 10 of 16 shots from the field and four of five from the free throw line, GW built a 16-point lead in the second half, then rebuffed a mild comeback by the Rams.

Joe Wassel had 17 points, Steve Frick 14 and Joe Dooley 10 for the Colonials, who shot 57 percent from the field in the game and 65 percent in the second half.

"More than any other league game we've had this year, that was a true 12-man victory," said GW Coach Gerry Gimelstob. "It was a really good team effort. I thought Dan Williams (nine points, seven rebounds) did a great job coming off the bench."

Freshman Carlton Owens led the Rams with 22 points and eight assists. Freshman Tom Garrick had 18 and Bryan Mitchell 17.

The Colonials (10-7 overall, 5-4 in the league) began the night as though they would hardly need all their starters -- never mind the bench.

Making nine of their first 13 shots from the field, the Colonials led, 18-8, in less than eight minutes.

Shortly thereafter, Rhode Island (7-11, 1-8) scored nine straight points in a four-minute span, taking its first and only lead of the game, 25-24.

After intermission, the Colonials went on a 22-10 run over 10 minutes, turning a 48-44 lead into a 70-54 advantage with 7:17 to play.