- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

George Washington displayed an offensive balance Saturday that could help the Colonials keep their new status as a ranked team deep into the season.

Tyler Cavanaugh scored 18 points and was among four players in double figures as the No. 21 Colonials finished their home nonconference schedule unbeaten with an 87-74 victory over Saint Peter’s.

Kevin Larsen earned his third double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Patricio Garino scored 16 points.

Both player shook off scoring slumps for George Washington (10-1), which is ranked for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.

“I think we have the most unselfish team we’ve ever had,” Garino said, “and we don’t care who scores 20 points or who doesn’t.”

Paul Jorgensen added 12 points to help the Colonials fend off a late comeback by the Peacocks, who closed within 11 points after trailing trailed by as many as 23 before halftime.

“We got a little sluggish in the second half,” Larsen said. “It happens, but we’ve got to be better than that. Be more mature.”

Trevis Wyche scored a career-high 26 points and Antwon Portley added 21 for Saint Peter’s (3-6), which took some consolation from its effort after halftime.

“I thought we had a little bit of a meltdown in the first half,” Saint Peter’s coach John Dunne said. “We weren’t responding well to their intensity, and I thought we responded really well in the second half with the great energy.”

Cavanaugh continued to be the Colonials’ primary scoring option, scoring at least 15 points for the eighth time this season. This time he was buoyed by improved efforts from Garino and Larsen.

Garino, GW’s second-leading scorer, snapped a stretch of three games without scoring in double figures. Larsen, the Colonial’s third-leading scorer, reached double figures for the first time in five games.

“My team has been very helpful, trying to get me the ball, trying to get me out of the slump,” Larsen said, “and today, I was kind of out of it.”

Larsen scored six points during a 13-0 run that helped the Colonials take a 33-13 first-half lead, before GW entered halftime up, 46-29.

Jorgensen’s 3-pointer in the second half made it 79-55 before Saint Peter’s answered with a 13-0 run, but Alex Mitola hit a pair of free throws before Jorgensen hit a runner and then a 3-pointer to stretch it to 86-70.

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