The shots kept falling, from contested 3-pointers to tough baskets in the lane. And each one appeared destined to send George Washington home in an abrupt end to the winningest season in school history. Instead of panicking, the Colonials steadied themselves and found a wild way to stay in the NCAA tournament.
Maureece Rice scored 20 points and had a key defensive play in overtime to help the Colonials erase an 18-point deficit and beat North Carolina-Wilmington 88-85 Thursday night in the first round of the Atlanta Regional, giving GW its first NCAA win in a dozen years. “The resiliency and will to win is just incredible,” George Washington coach Karl Hobbs said. “This team is very focused and very hungry, and they’re trying to fulfill their dreams.”
Omar Williams had 16 points and hit the go-ahead basket for the eighth-seeded Colonials (27-2), who will meet Duke in Saturday’s second round. Carl Elliott added 15 points and hit two free throws with 11.6 seconds left to send it to OT, while Danilo Pinnock had all 11 of his points after halftime. GW’s Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 10 points in his return after missing four games due to a knee injury.
This was March basketball at its maddest, with 18 lead changes and 10 ties. And the last wild momentum swing in a game full of them went to the Colonials, who scored the game’s final seven points to earn their first NCAA win since beating UAB in the first round in 1994.
Impressive. I suspect this will be the end of GW’s run, though.
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