- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 5, 2006

Yesterday at Smith Center:

SEEN AND HEARD

How far has the George Washington program come this season? After playing to sparse crowds at the beginning of the season, the Colonials had their sixth consecutive sellout yesterday. The students nearly filled up the entire bleacher section on one side of the court. The noise was headache-inducing, can’t-talk-to-the-person-beside-you loud.

One of the loudest ovations not directed toward Mike Hall, Omar Williams, Alex Kireev or Pops Mensah-Bonsu on senior day was for Scott Van Pelt, who sat in the second row of the student section at midcourt. An ESPN SportsCenter anchor and Maryland graduate, Van Pelt helped make Mensah-Bonsu a national figure in college basketball by promoting his play.

“That is [pointing to Mensah-Bonsu] my guy,” Van Pelt said before the game. “I’m here for him.”

Mensah-Bonsu did not play because of a torn meniscus, but walked without a limp during senior day festivities.

— Corey Masisak

BEST SIGN

There were plenty to choose from. Honorable mention goes to “Alex is My Comrade” for Alex Kireev, a Ukraine native, and “Make Dior, not War” in honor of senior walk-on Dior Toney. But the clear winner had GW coach Karl Hobbs wearing biblical clothing with “Coach Hobbs: Leading us to the Promised Land” above it.

KEY NUMBER

8 Missed free throws by the Colonials in 16 attempts. That included consecutive misses on the front end of one-and-ones, which basically equates to two misses. GW is not a particularly good foul-shooting team (64.6 percent for the season), and that could cost the Colonials in the postseason regardless of when Mensah-Bonsu returns.

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