The Atlantic 10 Conference may be unique in that it has possibly the best and worst teams in the nation. Temple is No. 1, and last night Rutgers again performed dismally, losing the 20th of its 25 games.
Holding the struggling Scarlet Knights to two field goals in the game's first 10 minutes, George Washington University quickly took a 20-point lead and was never headed in its easy 95-69 before 1,820 at the Smith Center.
The Colonals (12-13 overall, 6-10 in the conference) were looking to improve their eighth-place standing in the conference and build some momemtum going into the tournament.
"We wanted to get off to a good start," Coach John Kuester said. "We did, and that 16-0 run was the difference in the game. We boxed out well and got some transition baskets. We concentrated all week on defense, and I thought we played one of our better games."
GW's Gerald Jackson (21 points, nine rebounds, five assists) scored nine points, Ellis McKennie (18 points, eight assists) had eight points and Max Blank and Mike Jones (career high 18 points, 14 rebounds) added seven points in GW's first-half show. Jones had 10 rebounds in the half.
"I have always concentrated on rebounding but lately I've been looking to score more," said Jones, averaging eight points per game before last night.
Rutgers, a 28-point loser to the Colonials in their first meeting, recently broke its 16-game losing streak with a 65-61 win over Penn State. The Knights (2-14 in conference play) also beat St. Bonaventure, 87-72, two days after the Bonnies stuffed GW, 77-67.
"Tonight, we had shots," Rutgers Coach Craig Littlepage said matter of factly. "We just didn't put the ball in the basket."
In any event, the visitors put up two air balls, both of which were converted into baskets in the game's first two minutes. But the Colonials scored 16 straight points to take a 18-4 lead.
McKennie had six of the points, Blank four and Cot Smith a three-pointer in the run.
Tom Savage's two foul shots broke Rutgers' scoring drought, then GW, getting a three-point play from Blank and a three-pointer from Jackson, moved ahead by 26-6.
Leading by 43-23 at intermission, GW came out flat and twice allowed the Knights within 12 points.
Rutgers was led by former Spingarn all-Met Anthony Duckett and Myles Dixon with 13 points each.
GW Women Win
Tracey Allen had 19 points and nine rebounds to help George Washington beat West Virginia, 65-59, last night. GW (17-8 overall and 11-5 in the Atlantic 10) had never won in Morgantown, W.Va.
Howard 65, Coppin State 45
: Vanessa Graham's 14 points led Howard (15-11, 9-4 in MEAC) to a conference victory.