Tony Taylor scored 20 of his career-high 28 points in the second half and Joseph Katuka finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds as George Washington defeated La Salle 72-67 in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night.

David Pellom added 12 points for the Colonials (8-6), who have won six of seven games.

Taylor scored the Colonials' first eight points in the second half and seven of their final nine, including five free throws over the closing 1:25. Taylor's 3-pointer with 2:45 remaining extended the lead to 66-61.

Earl Pettis scored a career-high 21 points and Jerrell Williams added 10 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out for the Explorers (7-7), who have dropped five of their past six games.

Midway through the first half the Explorers sank four 3-pointers during a 15-0 run for a 32-24 lead and entered halftime up 35-34.