George Washington makes early case as best in D.C. area

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Two days later, George Washington graduate student Maurice Creek was asked to recreate his shot that beat Maryland.

“Kind of right here,” he said, hovering by the spot to the left of the free-throw line and just inside the 3-point arc. “Let’s see.”

Creek took a few steps toward midcourt, started his dribble, arrived at the appointed spot, stepped back and let it fly.

The clock wasn’t running down, as it was on Sunday. The score wasn’t tied. No one was guarding him. Only a few people were watching, not thousands of paid customers. This was at the on-campus Smith Center, not the city’s marquee Verizon Center.

Never mind. The result was the same. Swish.

When he pulled off the feat in the 77-75 win over the Terrapins, he achieved bragging rights for GW over a big bad neighbor from a power conference.

He improved the Colonials to 8-1, their best start in eight years. Miami went down, then Creighton, Rutgers and now Maryland.

Little wonder that, on Sunday, Creek celebrated by running into a mob of ecstatic teammates.

On Tuesday, he celebrated his successful reenactment with a simple smile.

“It means a lot. Being from the D.C.-Maryland general area, a lot of people focus on Maryland and Georgetown, and I knew that,” Creek said. “And I wanted to make this one a big program, and now we’re 8-1, hottest team in the area.”

Move over, Hoyas and Terps.

The Atlantic 10 team that plays in Foggy Bottom, not far from the White House, is back on the national radar.

Rebuilt by coach Mike Lonergan, the Colonials are receiving votes in The Associated Press poll with a sophomore-heavy lineup that should only get better.

“We’ve played a lot of teams on our schedule from the supposed power conferences,” said Lonergan, whose team hosts Boston University on Wednesday. “We feel the A-10 is a great conference, but talk is cheap. You’ve got to beat some of those teams to get some recognition.”

Lonergan, 47, won a Division III national championship at Catholic in 2001 and took Vermont to four postseason tournaments, but the reclamation project at GW presented quite the challenge when he arrived in 2011.

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