Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Sign up for our twice-weekly newsletter!

Creek’s game-winner gives GW 77-75 win over Maryland

Media Credit: Cameron Lancaster | Photo Editor
Maurice Creek drives to the basket against Maryland on Sunday. Creek ended up hitting the game-winning shot to bring GW to a 8-1 record.

After calling a timeout with the game tied and 8.1 seconds left to play, Maurice Creek told head coach Mike Lonergan he wanted the ball.

He did so “in a respectful way,” Lonergan said. Despite the coach’s initial decision to try and get Joe McDonald to the free throw line, he relented, giving Creek the ball for the game’s final play.

After inbounding the ball to Creek, his teammates spread the floor in anticipation of his isolation play. Then, he did what he does best: make shots.

Creek let the clock tick down to four seconds, then crossed over Maryland’s Nick Faust, who appeared to slip on the play, and rose up from just inside the arc.

“I told coach when I went over there that I wanted the ball. I wanted the ball and he got me the ball,” Creek said.

It swished, and after a half-court miss from the Terps, the Colonials won the game 77-75 – their first BB&&T Classic victory since a win over Navy in 2009.

“I was hoping he would take it to the rim because he’s such a great free throw shooter, but when he crossed over and pulled up, I forgot who was on him,” Lonergan said. “But once he cleared the defender I thought it was going in.”

After watching the game’s first half, you wouldn’t think GW would need a game-winning field goal to beat Maryland.

GW controlled both ends of the floor during the first half. The Colonials shot 41.9 percent from the field in the first, led by 12 points from Creek who went 3-5 from beyond the arc, and eight points from sophomore Kethan Savage. The Colonials were able to successfully attack the basket against the Terrapins, not relying on the long ball like they had in games past.

While the referees were liberal with their foul calls, the Colonials took advantage of their time at the charity stripe, shooting 80 percent from the free throw line.

Thanks to a strong performance from sophomore point guard Joe McDonald, GW was also efficient with the ball, recording only four turnovers in the half, while posting 10 assists to Maryland’s two. McDonald would finish the night with an impressive line: 13 points, nine assists, eight boards and four steals.

On the defensive end, the Colonials forced eight Terrapin turnovers in the first half, converting the Maryland turnovers to 10 first half points.

The Terrapins could do nothing to help themselves, shooting just 30 percent from the field, and watching all the bounces go GW’s way. Sophomore Jake Layman, UMD’s top scorer entering the game, had just three points at the break.

With 5:17 left to play in the game, GW held a 14-point lead and looked to be coasting to an 8-1 start.

Then UMD, led by Dez Wells’ nine second-half points began to get hot. The Terps attacked the basket and were quick to transition, getting the easy shots they needed.

It was at that point that UMD head coach Mike Turgeon also committed his players to a full court press of the Colonials backcourt. GW struggled mightily against the pressure, scrambling to get the ball past half court, and at times, unable to inbound the ball at all. Lonergan said that his guards’ inability to gain separation from the UMD defense caused his team to become anxious with the ball and make mistakes on the floor.

“We panicked and old momentum kicked in,” Lonergan said. “We had timeouts left and we tried to stay positive, but that was kind of like last year’s team, just throwing the ball away.”

In the span of three minutes and 10 seconds, the Colonials committed eight turnovers. By game’s end the Colonials turned the ball over 19 times – 15 coming in the second half alone. UMD would score 19 points off of GW errors, and record 10 steals in the second the half.

“They’re long players, and as coach said, I’m not the fastest player, so its kind of hard to get open and they got us a little rattled, but we made plays down late and that helped us,” McDonald said.

While it was Creek’s jump shot that ultimately earned the Colonials the win, GW’s free throw shooting down the stretch was just as key. In the last four minutes of play, GW converted 7-8 attempts from the free throw line off the hands of McDonald and Creek. The Colonials would finish the game shooting 26-33 from the stripe.

Four players, led by Creek’s game-high 25, scored in double figures for Lonergan. Armwood earned another double-double, scoring 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Savage finished with 14.

The Colonials last three wins have now all come against major conference opponents. With an 8-1 record, Lonergan couldn’t be happier.

“[Last year] we lost four close games and now we’re winning those games. I mean Miami, Creighton and this game. I give our players all the credit in the world and I’m happy to be 8-1,” Lonergan said.

The Colonials return to the Smith Center on Wednesday where they will take on Boston University at 7 p.m.

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet