GW Men 94, Universal 84
This season the George Washington men's basketball team may need more than senior guard Chris Monroe to pull out a victory. Last night, however, Monroe was about all the Colonials needed to defeat the Universal All-Stars, 94-84, before 1,567 at Smith Center.
Monroe was nearly unstoppable in GW's final exhibition game. He scored 32 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 4 of 8 three-pointers, and was 12 of 13 from the free throw line. Alvin Mitchell led the Universal All-Stars, a group of former college players that included former Maryland forward Laron Cephas, with 20 points.
"One of the biggest things that Chris did, particularly in the first half when we were struggling to score points, is he continued to just carry us until the young guys came around a little bit," GW Coach Karl Hobbs said. "That's one of the things he's going to have to do."
The Colonials were grateful for such production from their lone senior, particularly since the rest of the team shot so poorly at the start.
GW missed nine of its first 10 shots and made just 33 percent before halftime. Fortunately for the Colonials, when no one else's shot was falling, Monroe's was. Monroe scored 23 points before halftime.
"I just took what they gave me," Monroe said. "I think they were just playing me more for my drive [to the basket] at the beginning. So I just took the opportunity [to shoot from the outside]. Plus they sat back in a zone and I just took advantage of that."
GW's early shooting woes stemmed from its inability to establish an inside game. The Colonials were content to shoot from the perimeter, taking 16 of their 33 shot attempts from outside the three-point arc in the first half.
The freshmen, who played such a big role in GW's exhibition victory over EA Sports All-Stars on Nov. 3, were not much of a factor last night until the latter stages. The Colonials have eight freshmen, three of whom start.
Forward Mike Hall made the only field goals by a freshman in the first half, going 2 of 9. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting and 14 rebounds.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu and walk-on Dokum Akingbade were the only other freshmen to score before halftime. They each went 2 for 2 from the free throw line. Mensah-Bonsu rebounded from his slow start to finish with 12 points.
After taking a 39-36 halftime lead, GW went up by nine with 16 minutes 19 seconds left on Omar Williams's only basket of the game.
GW's regular season opener is Nov. 25 against Connecticut.