George Washington junior Yuta Watanabe shined in the school's season opener, scoring 18 points and grabbing six rebounds in the Colonials' 75-71 win on Friday night over the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Watanabe sank 10 of 12 free throws and drained 2 of 3 3-pointers. He blocked a pair of shots in 28 minutes. The Kagawa Prefecture native pulled down four offensive boards.

GW captured the NIT title in April under then-coach Mike Lonergan, who was dismissed during the offseason after a university investigation of player allegations of abuse, both verbal and emotional.

Meanwhile, 14th-ranked Gonzaga University routed visiting Utah Valley 92-69 on Friday night in Spokane, Washington, and freshman Rui Hachimura, who hails from Toyama Prefecture and attended high school in Sendai, finished with a point and four rebounds in five minutes in his collegiate debut. Hachimura missed his lone shot from the field, a 3-pointer, and canned 1 of 2 free throws.

Also Friday, Valparaiso University defeated visiting Southern Utah 79-60, giving Crusaders head coach Matt Lottich a victory in his NCAA Division I coaching debut.

Valparaiso collected its 12th straight win in home openers.

Lottich, a former Stanford University guard, was an original star in the now-disbanded bj-league, helping the Osaka Evessa win three consecutive titles (2005-08) in the league's first three seasons.