Gerald Jackson scored 20 points and Ellis McKennie 18 last night for George Washington, but it was defensive work that was crucial in the Colonials' 72-58 Atlantic 10 victory over the University of Massachusetts at Smith Center before a crowd of 1,351.

Jackson and McKennie combined to limit the Minutemen's top scorer, Lorenzo Sutton (19.4 points per game average), to seven points as the Colonials improved to 10-11, 4-8. Massachusetts, in losing to George Washington for the second time this season, is 9-12, 4-10.

"I think Gerald and Ellis did an excellent job on Lorenzo," said George Washington Coach John Kuester. "Any time you can hold one of the best guards to seven points you have played good defense. And we took care of the ball in the second half."

Sutton scored but three points in the second half and Massachusetts continually turned the ball over and went nearly six minutes midway through the half without a basket, allowing George Washington to move out to a 61-50 lead.

"I was surprised I got the starting defensive assignment against Sutton," admitted McKennie, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard. "Gerald did such a good job against him the first time we played them. I tried to distract and frustrate him."

McKennie also had success offensively, scoring 12 second-half points as the Colonials expanded a 35-32 lead to 16 points. "I'm looking for my shot more now," said Jackson. "I'm taking the ball to the hole, trying to create more offense."

Jackson, a 6-4 senior guard who has scored 20 points in two straight games, credited his defense for his offensive effort. "Playing good defense is how I'm going to score my points," Jackson said. "I told Ellis to make him {Sutton} go to his left. Keep him from going right. Get him frustrated."

Jackson also made a first-half three-point field goal, marking the 12th straight game in which he has accomplished that feat, tying a George Washington record.

Two other Colonials reached double figures: freshman Glen Sitney had 11 and Mike Jones 10. Duane Chase, a 6-5 forward, led the visitors with 15 points. See Summary, Page D8