- Associated Press - Sunday, December 8, 2013

Maurice Creek didn’t look nervous as he prepared to drain what would be a buzzer-beating step-back jumper for George Washington. And that was probably because he asked for the chance to take it three times in the preceding timeout.

“I called a timeout and Mo’s like ‘I want the ball,’ in a respectful way. He said it like three times, I said to (Isaiah Armwood) ‘alright, let’s give him the ball,’” Colonials coach Mike Lonergan said. “Once he cleared the defender, I thought it was going in.”

Creek’s basket capped a 77-75 Colonials victory over Maryland in Sunday’s BB&T Classic.

“They made plays for me and I wanted to make big plays for them,” Creek said. “When we get comfortable with each other, and with our offense, it’s great.”

Early in the game, George Washington (8-1) was comfortably in the lead. After a back-and-forth first few minutes, the Colonials used a 9-1 run to take a 12-point lead.

“We tried hard. We don’t have a lot of things going our way right now. Balls are going in-and-out. Guys are making tough shots against us. We never quit and had a chance to win it,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

George Washington’s frontcourt took a serious blow midway through the second half when both of its bigs were effectively sidelined with foul trouble.

Rattling the Colonials with a strong press, the Terps (5-4) used a 19-2 run to tie the game with a minute left, forcing George Washington to turn it over eight times down the stretch.

“They gained momentum,” Lonergan said. “And we lost our composure, no doubt about it. Joe (McDonald) is a heck of a point guard, but he’s not the quickest guy to get open. And we needed other guys to come back and get open.”

Creek was one of four Colonials to score in double-digits, pacing the team with 25 points. Armwood added 11 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, Kethan Savage had 14 and McDonald had a near triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

“I think Kethan did a really good job taking advantage of some of those mismatches. We didn’t think (Evan) Smotrycz, some of those guys, could guard him,” Lonergan said.

Dez Wells had 16 points and eight rebounds for Maryland. Jake Layman added 13, while Evan Smotrycz and Roddy Peters each had 11.

At first, Maryland struggled to find a cohesive offensive front in the face of George Washington’s press defense. The Terps couldn’t seem to make shots fall for most of the game, shooting 39.1 percent and tallying only seven assists.

“When we get down by more and more points, our heads start to hang a little bit for some guys,” Layman said. “It’s all a learning experience right now. We’re only nine games in. We’re not too worried right now.”

In contrast, the Colonials’ strong inside-out offensive game helped them get out to a 12-point lead at the half, and shooting 44.4 percent on the game. They displayed much more offensive depth than the Terps, counting 15 assists over play.

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