- Associated Press - Saturday, March 2, 2013

For the second time in a month George Washington gave a Top 25 team all it could handle at the Smith Center before falling short.

Three weeks after losing by three points to then-No. 14 Butler, the Colonials led No. 18 Saint Louis by three points in the second half before fading down the stretch in a 66-58 loss Saturday.

Dwayne Evans finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Kwamain Mitchell added 18 points as Saint Louis won its 11th straight game.

With two games remaining in the regular season, Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) holds a one-game lead over Virginia Commonwealth (23-6, 11-3), which routed No. 20 Butler 84-52 on Saturday.

Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Kevin Larsen led George Washington with 14 points. Lasan Kromah scored 12 and Dwayne Smith added 10. The Colonials (12-15, 6-8) have lost three straight and five of six.

George Washington led by three with just over 7 minutes left when the Billikens put together a 10-0 run. Evans hit two free throws and then converted a layup when Mitchell’s 3-point attempts came up short. Rob Loe, Evans and Mitchell all made two free throws on consecutive possessions to put Saint Louis up 55-48 with 4:20 left.

“Up three with 7 minutes left, three timeouts left, I thought we were in great shape, but we definitely had some costly turnovers, and we had trouble getting to the line and we had trouble scoring,” George Washington coach Mike Lonergan said.

The Colonials got no closer than five points the rest of the way.

“We were trying to play physical. We had 44 points in the paint,” Lonergan said. “We either missed some easy shots or, I don’t know, our guys felt they were getting fouled and we just didn’t get calls.”

The Colonials entered Saturday’s game in a four-way tie for ninth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with Charlotte, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Bonaventure, a game ahead of 13th-place Dayton.

The top 12 teams in the final 16-team league standings qualify for the 2013 A-10 Championship March 14-17.

“This time of the season there’s no time for moral victories,” Kromah said. “We have to get some wins underneath our belt.”

Up by eight points and with the ball early in the second half, Saint Louis committed turnovers on seven of its next nine possessions against George Washington’s 1-3-1 zone defense.

“They’re a very physical team,” Billikens interim coach Jim Crews said of the Colonials. “They really attack you in so many different ways. I’m very pleased with our guys. We kept hanging in there.”

The Colonials went on a 14-5 run and took its first lead of the game, 42-41, on a dunk by Nemanja Mikic off a steal by Kromah.

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