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Pellom is George Washington's best shot

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Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Colonials junior is third in nation in shooting

George Washington coach Mike Lonergan has an unusual problem with junior David Pellom. He's too unselfish.

Pellom ranks third in the nation in shooting, hitting 69.7 percent from the field. Now if he would only shoot more. In a 75-59 loss Saturday at Dayton, Pellom made nine of 11 attempts, scoring 18 points. But it was his three first-half turnovers, when Pellom was thinking team-first, that didn't sit well.

"He was looking to kick it out from the post," Lonergan said. "We're trying to get him to score every time he gets the ball because he's shooting such a high percentage."

UP NEXT
George Washington at Dayton
When » Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where » Dayton (Ohio) Arena

In a season in which the 6-foot-8 forward has battled a knee injury, GW (10-20) was winless in the four games Pellom missed. Over the past month, with Pellom enjoying the best stretch of his career, the Colonials have gone 2-6 but have been competitive. In the last eight games, mostly as a reserve, Pellom has averaged 13.0 points and 8.8 rebounds and made 46 of 59 shots (78 percent).

When GW returns to Dayton (19-11) for the opening round of the Atlantic 10 tournament on Tuesday, the Colonials will look for more from Pellom.

"He puts himself in really good positions to score," Lonergan said. "Early in the year he was just scoring. He really wasn't rebounding. Now he's done a really good job increasing his rebound totals. Now it's just trying to get him to focus on defense. He gives up a lot at the other end."

Playing Dayton twice in four days isn't easy. The Colonials elected to fly home Saturday night, then returned to Dayton early Monday evening and practiced there.

On Saturday, the difference was 3-point shooting. The Flyers made 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) as Chris Johnson hit four of five and guards Kevin Dillard and Paul Williams combined to make four of five.

It's a tough draw for 11th-seeded GW. No. 6 Dayton is on the NCAA bubble. A loss likely would wreck the Flyers' hopes.

The winner will advance to the A-10 quarterfinals Friday in Atlantic City, N.J., and will play No. 3 Xavier (19-11). GW's last win in the conference tournament came in the 2007 championship game.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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