George Washington University went cold from the floor in the second half yesterday and was beaten by Penn State, 72-61, in an Atlantic 10 women's basketball game at Smith Center.

The Colonials (16-8 and 10-5 in the conference) had many open shots in the second half, but connected on only 14 of 32 (43 percent).

"We had some good shots but they just wouldn't fall," Colonials Coach Linda Makowski said.

The Nittany Lions (15-9, 8-7) used a 14-2 spurt midway in the second half to turn a one-point deficit into a 50-39 lead with 7:43 left. Six-foot-three center Bethany Collins had eight points in the stretch that was interrupted only by a 17-foot jumper by George Washington's Kas Allen.

The Colonials didn't get closer than five points the rest of the way. Penn State was 15 for 30 from the floor in the second half and sealed it by making 14 of 16 free throws.

Karin Vadelund led George Washington with 23 points, 15 in the second half (three three-point shots). Forward Tracey Early from Magruder High School in Rockville added 18 points.

"Before the game we set a defensive goal and that was to hold them to 62 points," Penn State Coach Rene Portland said. "We did it."

Penn State was led by 5-3 guard Suzie McConnell, who scored 17 of her 25 points in the second half and created scoring opportunities all game. Collins had all 14 of her points after halftime.

"There's just no way to stop McConnell," Makowski said. "She's an all-America. You have to just try to keep her below her average."

The Colonials, who lead the nation in foul shooting at 79 percent, made just 10 of 15. However, the turning point came late in the first half when George Washington was unable to take control during a Nittany Lions' shooting drought.

Penn State made only two field goals in the final 10:18 and was scoreless for a six-minute stretch.

But the Colonials, down by six at the time, managed to build just a four-point lead with 2:15 left before halftime.

Penn State's Shelly Caplinger made a three-pointer and Adrie DeVries converted one of two free throws with one second left to tie it at 28.

"We should've had a five- or six-point lead at halftime," Makowski said.

George Mason 84, Iona 78 : Guard Cindy Baruch had 30 points and six steals to lead George Mason (16-7) to a victory in New Rochelle.

Iona (6-15) was led by guard Maggie Timoney's 21 points. Jerolyn Weathersby scored 16 points, including a jumper with 1:11 left to put George Mason ahead by 78-76.

The victory assured the Patriots of their first winning season since joining Division I.

Boston College 56, Georgetown 54:

Boston College, led by Ann Odoy's 14 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and five steals, scored 10 straight points from the six minute mark to three minutes remaining to score a Big East victory at Georgetown's McDonough Arena.

Boston College improved to 14-10 and 9-6. Georgetown, led by Beth Knight's 21 points and 10 rebounds, fell to 7-18 and 3-11.

Navy 49, Army 45 : Patty LiPoma made a driving lay-in with 16 seconds remaining to put Navy (13-10) up by three near the end at West Point.

Navy was led by Connie James' 14 points and nine rebounds. Army (15-11) was led by Leslie Texas' 16 points.

Mary Washington 79, Gallaudet 64 : Guard Kim Hardy led Mary Washington (4-16) with 25 points.

She succeeded on her first seven shots to begin the second half.

Gallaudet (7-17) was led by Bev Fletcher's 22 points. Forward Jennifer Payne had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Mary Washington.