GW-Boston on CSN: 'Hottest team in the area'

GW-Boston on CSN: 'Hottest team in the area'
December 11, 2013, 12:30 am
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Matchup: George Washington (8-1; Atlantic 10) vs. Boston (6-3, Patriot League)

Broadcast: TV - Comcast SportsNet, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Location: Washington, D.C, Smith Center

Recently: For those occupied by snow or the NFL this past Sunday, Maurice Creek scored 25 points and sank a step back 18-foot jumper with 0.6 seconds left as George Washington survived a late collapse for a 77-75 victory over Maryland. That came the Colonials defeated Rutgers at the Smith Center, meaning their last four wins have come versus power conference programs. 

KenPom: George Washington 68, Boston 135

Boston: The Terriers held a four-game winning streak before falling 79-68 in overtime to Harvard on Saturday. Maurice Watson Jr. leads Boston in scoring (14.8), assists (5.9) and steals (2.4) while forward Dom Morris averages 12.7 points and 7.7 rebounds. 

Local kid makes good: Growing up in Oxon Hill, Creek understands that when it comes to college basketball, the D.C. area is a two-school town. That's why the perimeter threat grasps that his game-winner over the Terps had possible implications beyond the game. That's also one reason why he returned home as a graduate student after four seasons at Indiana. 

"Of course, being from the area, a lot of focus is on Maryland and Georgetown," Creek said at the Smith Center before the Colonials practice on Tuesday. "I knew that. I wanted to make this one a big program. Now we're 8-1, the hottest team in the area. We're a great team to watch." 

That wasn't the case last season as the Colonials finished 13-17, often losing late and often because of limited perimeter options. George Washington targeted Creek this offseason to help in both areas. 

We played hard but just didn't have enough to win. We lost seven games against quality programs down at the wire. I knew we had to add at least one player to the mix and we needed a shooting guard who could really play and score. So Maurice Creek came available and he became a must get for us." 

Injuries hampered Creek's promising career at Indiana where he starred as a freshman. Now healthy, he's starring at George Washington. 

"He's been as good or better than I thought," Lonergan said. 

Unsung hero: In two games last week, sophomore point guard Joe McDonald nearly averaged a triple double with 9.5 points, 9.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds. The former Landon product also averaged 3.5 steals and just 2.0 turnovers in that span while making 9 of 11 free throws versus Maryland. Always calm on the outside, McDonald endured the usual growing pains last season while adjusting to the college game, but he has far greater command of the offense. Having teammates able to knock down shots this season helps as well. 

Turnovers: Not a significant problem for most of the season, but the Colonials had all kinds of problems maintaining possession in the final frantic minutes against Maryland. GW had coughed the ball up eight times inside the final five minutes against relentless full court pressure and 19 times overall. The Terriers are effective at forcing turnovers as well as limiting their own with their multiple defensive looks. 

Home sweet home: The Colonials are 4-0 at the Smith Center, winning by an average of 24.7 points.

Garino: George Washington played its last two games without sophomore guard Patricio Garino, who is expected to miss at least the next two games. The Colonials top on-ball defender and arguably best all-around player, Garino underwent surgery on a broken finger before the season tipped and then re-injured his finger in the win over No. 20 Creighton on December 1.

On deck: George Washington hosts UMBC on December 21.  

Video: GW's athletic department edited together Creek's game-winner from all kinds of angles (below) plus a look at the entire feel-good start to the season for those thinking about, you know, buying tickets to a home game.