GW Men's Hoops' Banner 100th Season Ends in NCAA Second Round
No. 9 Seed GW's Late Rally Denied by No. 8 Seed Memphis, 71-66
March 21, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - GW men's basketball's thrilling 100th season came to a close on Friday with a 71-66 loss to Memphis in the NCAA Tournament's East Region Second Round at PNC Arena.
GW bows out of its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance with the defeat and completes the 2013-14 campaign with a 24-9 overall record, tying the 1954-55 and 1997-98 teams for the second-most victories in the program's 100 seasons of intercollegiate basketball.
As they did throughout the 2013-14 season - and true to the final word of the GW Fight Song - the Colonials fought until the end of Friday night's contest, despite trailing by as much as 10 in both halves and by nine, 64-55, with 3:56 remaining.
Isaiah Armwood and Maurice Creek, who came to Foggy Bottom along with GW Coach Mike Lonergan to help rebuild a program, willed the team back into the game in an effort to extend their careers and the Colonials' 100th season at least one more game.
Armwood hit his ninth field goal for his 21st points, then Creek buried his second 3-pointer of the game to ignite an 11-3 run that pulled GW within a point. Sophomore Joe McDonald converted a tough driving layin to cap the rally and make it 67-66 with 25 seconds to play.
Michael Dixon Jr., who led Memphis with 19 points off the bench, answered with two foul shots to make it 69-66 and still a one-possession game with 10 seconds left. The Colonials missed a game-tying three-point attempt and Dixon Jr. added two more free throws to send the Tigers into Sunday's NCAA third round.
Armwood finished with a season-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 15 in the second half despite picking up his fourth foul with 12:02 to play. He concludes his two-year, 63-game career at GW with 778 points, 539 rebounds, 119 blocks, 102 assists and 54 steals - one of two players in program history with more than 500 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, 100 assists and 50 steals.
Creek, who exited just 2:27 into the game with a cut over his right eye that required 10 stitches, hit two 3-pointers to increase his single-season total to 80, the second-most in program history, and closed with nine points.
Sophomore Kevin Larsen made 7-of-10 shots, including all 5-for-5 en route to 12 points in the first half, and finished with 16 points and a game- and career-high tying three steals. Classmate Patricio Garino added 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and McDonald recorded seven points, three assists, three boards and two steals in a team-high 37 minutes.
Along with the second-most wins in program history, GW posted a +11 win turnaround from the previous season, a total which ranked third in Division I entering the NCAA Tournament.