MORGANTOWN, W.VA., FEB. 18 -- A furious second half rally by George Washington, led by Ellis McKennie's 23 points, propelled the Colonials to a 76-73 upset of West Virginia before 4,343 at the West Virginia Coliseum.

The first half looked like a West Virginia rout early with the Mountaineers coasting to an 11-point advantage at 13-2 with 17:10 remaining, but the Colonials staged a comeback on eight straight points by senior forward Kenny Barer (15 points), including two three-pointers to draw George Washington to within 19-14.

McKennie's jumper from the lane with 10:43 remaining cut West Virginia's lead to 19-16 and Gerald Jackson sank two free throws with 2:21 left put the Colonials within 36-35. The Mountaineers led at halftime, 41-39.

The Colonials (11-12, 5-9 in the Atlantic 10) tied the game at 47-47 on McKennie's layup with 16:18 remaining in the second half. But West Virginia (16-9, 11-3) regained control to push the lead to 63-54 on Desmond Clifton's layup with 9:50 remaining. Joe Dooley's three-pointer with 59 seconds remaining cut the lead to 73-72 and McKennie's layup with 20 seconds left gave the Colonials the lead at 74-73.

West Virginia's Tyrone Shaw (19 points) had two free throw attempts with 16 seconds left, but missed both and the Colonials held on for their first victory in Mountaineers territory since the 1979-80 season.