GW Men's Hoops Survives, Advances at Wooden Legacy
Colonials' Clutch Plays Late Clinch 71-63 Overtime Win Against Miami Hurricanes
Nov. 28, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. - Sophomore Joe McDonald and graduate student Maurice Creek made clutch plays at the end of regulation and in overtime to help GW men's basketball to a 71-63 victory over Miami (Fla.) at Titan Gym and in front of a national ESPNU audience on Thursday. The win advances the Colonials to the semifinals of the DIRECTV Wooden Legacy at Titan Gym on Friday.
McDonald's clutch driving layin with 4.9 seconds left tied the game at 59-59, then he buried a three and found senior Isaiah Armwood for a dunk as GW made 5-of-6 shots and outscored Miami, 12-4, during the extra stanza, propelling GW to its first 5-0 start to a season since winning eight straight to begin the banner 2005-06 campaign.
The victory improves GW to 3-0 all-time against Miami and marks the program's first win over an ACC opponent since a 63-62 triumph over Virginia Tech in the 2006 BB&T Classic.
The Colonials will now face No. 25 Marquette - an 86-66 winner over host Cal State Fullerton - in the semifinals on Friday at 3:30 pm ET. The game will be televised on ESPN, as well as streamed online and on mobile device on the WatchESPN app.
McDonald was one of five Colonials to reach double figures, finishing with 10 points and a game-high three steals. Senior Nemanja Mikic made four 3-pointers and led the team with 16 points. Creek added two key threes en route to 15 points, while Armwood posted his first double-double of the season and 11th of his career with 12 points and 11 rebounds with three blocks. Sophomore Kethan Savage chipped in with 11 points.
After holding a slim 27-26 advantage at halftime, GW opened the second half with a 16-5 surge over the opening 5:40 for its largest lead at 43-31. The margin remained 12 near the midway point before Miami chipped away behind Garrius Adams and Rion Brown. The pair combined for 23 of their team's 33 second-half points as the Hurricanes managed to grab a 59-56 lead with 1:59 to play.
Creek came up with a big steal and made a back-end free throw to trim GW's deficit to 59-57 with 1:01 left, then the Colonials got a defensive stop to set up McDonald's equalizer. Coach Mike Lonergan elected to forgo a timeout and the sophomore point guard banked in a driving layin to knot the score for the sixth time. GW forced a hurried, errant three-point try by Miami at the buzzer to send the game into OT.
McDonald hit a three 36 seconds into overtime, then dished to Armwood for an uncontested slam 29 seconds later for a 64-59 lead. A pair of Brown free throws pulled the Hurricanes within 64-61, but Creek beat the shot-clock buzzer with a 25-foot triple before Savage punctuated the victory with a steal and transition dunk.
GW was outrebounded (37-32) for the first time this season, but committed just six turnovers in the game, including just two in the second half and overtime, en route to a 17-7 advantage in points off turnovers. After falling behind 16-6 early in points in the paint, the Colonials finished with a 24-22 edge in the category.