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DePaul stops Rogers, George Washington Defending champ relegated to consolation, 87-79


WASHINGTON -- As he prepared his team for yesterday's game against George Washington, DePaul coach Pat Kennedy's advice to his team was simple: Stop Colonials guard Shawnta Rogers, who, despite standing 5 feet 4, has proved he can dominate a game.

"I watched his game against American, when he scored 25 points and had 14 assists," Kennedy said. "I told our players if he gets cooking, he's devastating."

Rogers (Lake Clifton) could never bring his game to a boil, as he missed 14 of his 18 shots. Backcourt mate Mike King (Lake Clifton) also struggled, missing 10 of his 15 shots. And the result was that George Washington won't defend its BB&T; Classic title after losing, 87-79, to DePaul yesterday.

Both teams face even tougher tests tonight. By losing, George Washington will face a Stanford team smarting over its loss to second-ranked Maryland in yesterday's opening game. And DePaul will pit its three freshman starters against the Terrapins.

"They have great chemistry -- I think they have the best team in the country," Kennedy said. "That first game [Maryland-Stanford] was like a Final Four game. Our guys have to do a lot of growing over the next 24 hours."

After losing its opener at New Mexico, DePaul won its fifth straight yesterday behind a balanced attack, with six players in double figures. Freshman Lance Williams, a part of a recruiting class considered by some to be the best in the country, led the way with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Willie Coleman, the only senior among the starters, added 17 points.

After playing close for the first eight minutes, George Washington fell behind by as many as 11 in the first half. That the Colonials were within 51-44 at halftime was a credit to forward Yegor Mescheriakov, who missed just one of 10 shots on the way to a 20-point first half.

When Mescheriakov, a graduate student, cooled in the second half (he finished with 26 points), junior forward Francisco De Miranda picked up the slack with 14 of his 17 points. But after DePaul increased its lead to 12 points midway through the half, George Washington never got closer than six.

First-year George Washington coach Tom Penders wasn't around for the end of the game, picking up two technical fouls with 9: 38 left.

"Both T's I thought were totally unwarranted," Penders said. "[Rogers] almost got his arm taken out of the socket and there was no call. I said nothing profane. I just think [official John Clougherty] had rabbit ears. He missed the call and he was looking to call another technical."

ZTC Not that the calls mattered. Rogers and King combined to hit three of 16 shots in the second half. Each finished with 11 points, more than 14 below their scoring averages.

"I have no excuses," Rogers said. "I had an off game, and they played well."

And DePaul's win gives Kennedy another shot at old coaching foe Gary Williams. Kennedy, while coaching Florida State, faced Maryland 13 times (going 8-5).

DePAUL -- Simmons 5-8 2-2 14, Williams 6-12 7-10 19, Richardson 1-8 0-0 2, Hartfield 2-5 7-9 11, Coleman 6-10 5-7 17, Burno 2-4 6-8 12, Cooper 4-9 2-4 10, Butler 0-0 0-0 0, Avery 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 27-60 29-40 87.

GEORGE WASHINGTON -- De Miranda 7-10 3-4 17, Mescheriakov 11-17 2-5 26, Roma 1-2 0-0 2, King 5-15 1-2 11, Rogers 4-18 2-2 11, Eyal 0-2 1-2 1, Sola 1-2 0-0 3, Smith 0-1 2-2 2, Ngongba 2-3 2-3 6, Camara 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 31-75 13-20 79.

Halftime--DePaul, 51-44. 3-point goals--DP 4-13 (Burno 2-2, Simmons 2-4, Coleman 0-1, Cooper 0-1, Avery 0-1, Richardson 0-4); GWU 4-21 (Mescheriakov 2-4, Sola 1-2, Rogers 1-8, Eyal 0-1, King 0-3, Camara 0-3). Fouled out--Simmons. Rebounds--DP 43 (Williams 15); GWU 45 (Mescheriakov, King 8). Assists--DP 10 (Richardson, Hartfield, Coleman 2); GWU 17 (Rogers 8). Total fouls--DP 20, GWU 26. Technicals--King, GWU bench 2. A--20,544.

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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