WINFIELD, W.Va. - On a night when top scorer Jon Elmore's shot was off and low-post threat Anthony Dean sat a huge chunk of the game with foul problems, George Washington still found a way to win.
Cai Carena came off the bench to provide a career-best 16 points and six rebounds Saturday night as the Patriots cooled off Winfield by taking a 71-59 victory.
The Generals (10-6) had come into the game with four straight wins, including Monday's verdict over Class AAA No. 6 Capital.
But the Patriots (11-4) weren't having any of that, even though Elmore, the leading scorer in West Virginia at 30-plus points per game, went just 6 of 17 from the floor and Dean, who had averaged 12 points over the last seven contests, rode the bench much of the way.
Enter the 6-foot-4 Carena, who took several nice feeds from Elmore for layups and even knocked down a jumper from the foul line. He hit 7 of 11 shots and grabbed six rebounds as GW dominated the glass 42-19.
"It was great,'' Carena said. "I feel like we had a great win.
"I felt like I had a wide-open space in the short corner and that's where I got a lot of my points from. That's why I scored as much as I did this game.''
Elmore did leave his imprint on the game, finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists. The VMI recruit did much of his work at the foul line, making 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:47 as the Patriots had to protect their lead.
"I'm really proud of our guys,'' said GW coach Rick Greene. "I thought Dominik King [18 points, six rebounds] played better than he had been playing, but obviously the guy who stood out was Cai. He'd struggled a little bit the last couple of games, but he keeps the same attitude. He just wants to keep coming in and do what he can do. He and Jon play well together, and it's really good to see Cai have a nice game.
"He was probably the difference in the game, especially offensively. Anthony got in foul trouble and that really hurt us, because he had been playing so well for us.''
Winfield experienced problems all across the board - sporadic shooting and ballhandling, and especially its huge deficit in rebounding. Still, the Generals were within 57-55 when Toby Show stroked a foul-line jumper with 3:03 remaining in the game.