NEW HAVEN, CONN., NOV. 28 -- Sophomore guard Ellis McKennie scored 18 points, sophomore forward Mike Jones had 14, and junior center Max Blank had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead George Washington University's basketball team over Yale, 77-65, before 744 fans in the opening game of the season for both teams tonight.

Yale moved to an 11-0 lead and then George Washington fought back. A three-point field goal by guard Gerald Jackson tied the score at 25 and the Colonials moved to a 36-31 halftime lead.

Early in the second half, helped by Mike Jones' eight straight points, the Colonials took a 46-35.

Yale, rallying behind senior forward Paul Maley, who had a game-high 29 points, then came back and took a 51-47 lead with 11 minutes remaining.

The Colonials then went on a 28-7 run, helped by the shooting of McKennie, who scored eight points during that stretch. That put the Colonials in control of the game with a 75-58 lead with 1:45 remaining.

"We played great defense tonight," said the winning coach, John Kuester. "Even though Yale raced out to that early lead, we were still taking good shots and our defensive intensity won the game for us. I was pleased with the way Ellis and Gerald played tonight defensively against Maley. He's a great player."

The Colonials played strong defense during their decisive run, forcing many turnovers.

George Washington will play South Carolina in its Smith Center home opener at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

McKennie shot seven for 15 from the field and four for seven from the foul line.

Bowie State 63, Shaw 61:

Scotty Norman scored eight points in overtime at Bowie to make the Bulldogs 1-4. They didn't wrap up the game until the last six seconds when Mike Sinclair (23 points) made one of two free throws after being intentionally fouled. Bowie State ran out the clock on the inbounds pass.

Essex 114, Montgomery-Rockville 89:

Essex had four players in double figures in its easy victory over the Scarlet Knights in the opening game for both teams at Essex. Pete Dabrowski led Montgomery-Rockville with 43 points. Jeff Burdette had 16 points.