WASHINGTON (AP) - Maurice Creek's buzzer-beater pushed George Washington to a dramatic 77-75 victory over Maryland in Sunday's BB&T Classic.
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.
George Washington's front court took a serious blow midway through the second 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.
A Nick Faust steal gave Maryland the ball, before Joe McDonald took it back for George Washington. The teams traded free throws, before Creek drained his dramatic shot out of a Colonial timeout.
Creek was among four Colonials scoring in double-digits, pacing the team with 25 points. Isaiah 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.
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.
In contrast, the Colonials' strong inside-out offensive game helped them build a 12-point lead at the half, shooting 44.4 percent on the game. They displayed greater offensive depth than the Terps, getting 15 assists.
Maryland's frustration was clear. Head coach Mark Turgeon was slapped with a technical foul after an expletive-filled rant during the second half. Later, when Wells fouled out with six minutes to play, he punched his chair in frustration.
George Washington had the depth and grit necessary to hold its narrow lead over Maryland. The Colonials crashed the boards and took hard cuts through the paint, showcasing the clear increase in skill and toughness in this year's squad.
After wins over Creighton and Rutgers, George Washington's victory Sunday continues to increase their national profile, with a match against Boston University next for the Colonials. The struggling Terrapins next head to Boston College.