Colonials score first 19 points in opening-round 76-67 win over Boise State

LOS ANGELES (AP) -For tournament-tested George Washington, there was never a doubt, although pesky Boise State had the Colonials squirming a bit at the finish.

Jessica Adair dominated the inside from the opening tip, and fifth-seeded George Washington scored the first 19 points on its way to a 76-67 victory over 12th-seeded Boise State on Saturday in a first-round game of the Dallas Regional.

Adair, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, had 15 points and a career-high 21 rebounds for the Colonials (27-3), who face fourth-seeded Texas A&M in a second-round game Monday night. The 16th-ranked Aggies (25-6) beat 13th-seeded Texas Arlington 58-50 earlier Saturday.

The Colonials led 44-25 at halftime, and outscored the Broncos 12-3 for a 59-32 lead with a little under 13 minutes remaining. It was 67-41 before Boise State used a barrage of 3-pointers to outscore George Washington 26-9 for the final nine-point margin.

``We had a little meltdown at the end,'' Colonials coach Joe McKeown said. ``We played 37 minutes of terrific basketball.''

Regarding his team's fast start, McKeown said: ``We forced some quick shots and were able to get it up the floor in transition.''

Adair had the second-highest rebounding total in school history, behind Kas Allen's 23 against West Virginia on Jan. 23, 1988.

``She missed most of her freshman year because of injuries. This is kind of her freshman year,'' McKeown said. ``When she gets rolling, she's one of the premiere inside players in college basketball.''

With Adair leading the way, No. 14 George Washington won the rebounding battle 57-32. Adair's previous career high in rebounding was 15. Eleven of her rebounds were at the offensive end.

``I was just going for the ball,'' she said. ``We were anxious to play. Our last game wasn't so good. We wanted to come out and show people what we're about.''

The Colonials had won 19 straight games before losing to Saint Joseph's 57-55 in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Kenan Cole scored 16 points, Kimberly Beck had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Sarah-Jo Lawrence added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Colonials.

George Washington is making its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance and 14th in the last 17 years. Boise State (24-9) was playing in just its second tourney and first since 1994.

``They've been here, they know what it's like, and they're a very good team,'' Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said of George Washington.

Regarding the game's first seven minutes, Presnell said: ``We just had kind of deer in the headlights. They just took it to us. I didn't think we were ever going to score.''

Nadia Begay made a school-record eight 3-pointers in 14 attempts and led Boise State with a season-high 26 points, and Tasha Harris added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Broncos.

Jessica Thompson, Boise State's leading scorer, was 1-for-7 for two points and left the game for good with 9:48 to play because of illness.

Adair and Cole scored five points each during George Washington's early spurt. Rebecca Kepilino made two free throws with 12:42 left before halftime for Boise State's first points, and Jenna Galassi scored from underneath nearly a minute later for the Broncos' first field goal after 10 misses.

Begay made four 3-pointers and Harris added another to help the Broncos get as close as 13 points before George Washington went on an 8-2 run to finish the half. Beck hit from about 30 feet as time expired for the Colonials' fifth 3-pointer in eight first-half attempts. They wound up going 8-of-13 from beyond the arc while Boise State was 12-of-26.


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