Tom Penders and his George Washington men's basketball team continued their roller-coaster ride through a grueling nonconference schedule, falling to Bradley, 75-65, tonight in front of 9,175 at Carver Arena.
After impressive victories over Seton Hall and Maryland last weekend, the Colonials (4-4) struggled offensively against the Braves (4-2), especially down the stretch. George Washington led most of the game, but Bradley took the lead, 47-46, with 9 minutes 20 seconds left on a three-pointer by senior point guard Rob Dye. Bradley then went on a 17-4 run.
Junior guard David Selby led the Braves with 18 points, but Bradley had four other players in double figures.
Penders refused to blame the loss on a difficult nonconference schedule.
"That's no excuse. It's tough, but it'll make us tougher later on," he said. "We lost to a good basketball team tonight that I expect to be an NCAA tournament team."
Dye, the Missouri Valley Conference scoring leader and an all-MVC first team selection last season, was expected to go head-to-head against George Washington freshman sensation SirValiant Brown, but didn't start because of a sore right ankle. He finished with 13 points.
Brown, meantime, had a difficult enough time against Dye's replacement, guard Eric Roberson. Roberson (11 points) held Brown to a season-low 17 points on 6-of-28 shooting, but Brown still led the Colonials in scoring for the eighth consecutive game. The Lee High School graduate leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring this season, averaging 25.3 points per game, and has been named the A-10 rookie of the week for the past three weeks.
"[Brown] had to do a lot because no one else stepped up," Penders said. "They did a good job at running two guys at him the whole game. . . . He's a freshman and he tries to do everything he possibly can."
The Colonials struggled shooting, especially in the second half. George Washington finished the game shooting 33 percent and 65 percent from the free throw line. The Colonials couldn't make free throws in the second half when they needed them the most, shooting just 50 percent.
PENN STATE 67, GEORGE MASON 54: Joe Crispin and Jarrett Stephens scored 21 points apiece to lead the Nittany Lions (6-0) over the visiting Patriots (2-3). George Evans led George Mason with 19 points and seven rebounds.
VIRGINIA 98, LOYOLA (MD.) 67: Adam Hall scored 18 points and Travis Watson had 14 points and eight rebounds as the host Cavaliers (5-3) ran away from the Greyhounds (4-4). Loyola was led by Jason Rowe with 19 points and seven rebounds.
TENNESSEE 94, WEST VIRGINIA 54: Marcus Haislip scored 22 points to lead the No. 16 Volunteers at home. Vincent Yarbrough added 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Tony Harris 17 points and eight assists for Tennessee (7-0). West Virginia (3-2) was led by Calvin Bowman's 17 points and 12 rebounds.
ILLINOIS 98, TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN 61: Marcus Griffin scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting to lead the No. 22 Illini at home. The win marked the 300th victory for Illinois's Lon Kruger, who began his 18-year coaching career in 1982 at Texas-Pan American. Illinois (4-2) led 40-30 at the half but then jumped on the Broncs (1-4) in the second half.