Thursday, March 6, 2014

Men's Basketball: GW 76 St. Joseph's 71

Joe McDonald hit a career-high 4 treys on his way to 18 points

From our friends at GW Athletics Communications...

GW Men's Hoops Stops Saint Joseph's on Senior Night, 76-71

Creek, Armwood Help Lead Colonials to Comeback Victory in Home Finale

GW men's basketball rallied from a nine-point deficit with 11 minutes remaining for a 76-71 victory over Saint Joseph's during Senior Night on Wednesday at the Charles E. Smith Center.

The victory keeps GW (22-7, 10-5) in a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic 10 standings along with Massachusetts, a half-game behind third place VCU and one game behind SJU (21-8, 11-4) entering Saturday's regular season finale at Fordham. The win also halted a six-game win streak for SJU, which had also won 17 of its last 20 contests entering Wednesday.

Maurice Creek led GW with 20 points (14 in the 2nd half)

The Colonials finish 14-1 at the Smith Center this season, the second-most home victories in the facility's history. The team's 22 overall wins tie for the sixth-most in the program's 100-season history.

GW had four players score in double figures for the 15th time this season, led by graduate student Maurice Creek's 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Senior Isaiah Armwood posted his 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Sophomore Joe McDonald matched Creek with a career-best four 3-pointers en route to 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, while classmate Patricio Garino netted 17 points in 34 minutes off the bench. Sophomore Kevin Larsen, who faced double-teams throughout the game, finished with five points, six rebounds and a career-high tying six assists against no turnovers. It seemed as though GW may run away with the contest early in the first half, using a 26-6 run to turn an early six-point deficit into a 30-16 lead with 5:32 left before halftime.

Patricio Garino (#13) scored 17 points for the Colonials

SJU quickly seized momentum by scoring the final 16 points of the half to take a 32-30 advantage into intermission. The Hawks increased the margin to 44-36 with 12 of the opening 18 points of the second half, capping a 28-6 spurt spanning the halves.

Creek scored eight of GW's next nine points, including his third triple of the night, to make it a one-possession game at 48-45 with 12:33 left, but SJU responded with back-to-back three-point trips for its largest lead, 54-45, at the under-12 media timeout with 11:00 remaining.

With SJU forward Halil Kanacevic already sitting with four fouls, GW saddled his frontcourt teammate Ronald Roberts with his fourth foul and took advantage. The Colonials scored five baskets in the paint, including a driving layin from Garino that fouled out Kanacevic with 6:55 to play, and added threes from Creek and McDonald during a 22-6 momentum-shifting rally for a 67-60 lead with 1:45 left.

4,228 faithful celebrate at Charles E. Smith Center

Garino added GW's ninth three pointer of the game with 53 ticks left, then Armwood and Creek fittingly capped their final game at Smith Center with the clinching field goal and four free throws in the waning seconds.

Armwood and Creek were joined by senior forward Nemanja Mikic and senior team manager Dan Burstiner for a pre-game Senior Night ceremony honoring their years of commitment to the Colonials.

Saturday's regular season finale at Fordham will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, SNY and at 4:30 p.m., and will be preceded by a GW Alumni pre-game reception at 2:30 p.m. at O'Keefe Commons inside O'Hare Hall.

Click here for last night's box score.