Massachusetts Daily Collegian

George Washington knocks off Creighton, VCU rebounds

By Anthony Chiusano

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After falling to No. 25 Marquette on Friday in the Wooden Legacy, the George Washington men’s basketball team rebounded to defeat No. 20 Creighton 60-53 on Sunday to take home third place in the tournament.

It was George Washington’s first win against a nationally-ranked team since 2004 when the Colonials pulled off back-to-back upsets against No. 11 Michigan State and No. 12 Maryland on Dec. 4 and 5.

Leading the way for the Colonials in the consolation game (6-1) were Kevin Larsen with 14 points and six rebounds, and Isaiah Armwood and Joe McDonald with 12 points apiece.

For the Blue Jays (5-2), National Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott was held to seven points on 2-for-12 shooting, including a 0-for-5 performance from behind the 3-point arc. The senior forward came into the game scoring 27.8 points per game.

Despite McDermott’s struggles, Creighton held a 53-50 lead with two minutes,14 seconds left in the game. However, George Washington regained the lead with just over a minute left following a reverse layup by Larsen to make it 54-53.

The Blue Jays got one more shot to tie the game with 14 seconds left in the game and trailing by three points, but Creighton guard Devin Brooks was called for an offensive foul on the inbound pass, returning possession to the Colonials, who connected on their free throws to permanently extend the lead to seven points.

VCU rallies past Belmont

Following a drop out of the national rankings last week, Virginia Commonwealth defeated Belmont 81-68 on Sunday to pick up its second straight win.

Trailing by 12 points early in the first half, the Rams (6-2) battled back to take a 38-35 lead heading into halftime.

In the second half, VCU once again fell behind, 50-44, before embarking on a 22-2 run to take control with six minutes remaining.

Juvonte Reddic led the Rams’ offense with a double-double with18 points and 11 rebounds. Melvin Johnson added 16 points and was 4-of-7 from 3.

Five players reached double figures in points for the Bruins (7-2). Blake Jennings and J.J. Mann led the way with 14 points in the loss.

VCU’s victory ended Belmont’s 23-game winning streak at home, which led the nation. In addition, the loss stopped a six-game winning streak for the Bruins, which included a Nov. 17 victory against then-No. 12 North Carolina.

Next up for the Rams is a home game against Eastern Kentucky on Thursday night.

SLU falls to Shockers

Coming off of a Final Four appearance last season, No. 12 Wichita State remained undefeated with a 70-65 win over Saint Louis on Sunday.

The first half was categorized by large runs by both sides, as the Shockers went on a 17-0 run which was then followed by an 11-0 run by the Billikens.

The game was tied at 64-64 heading into the game’s final minute, but Wichita State (6-0) went on a 6-1 run to clinch a victory behind consecutive layups from Ron Baker and Cleanthony Early followed by two free throws by Fred VanVleet.

Baker finished with a game-high 22 points while Early added 12, despite shooting 4-of-12 from the field.

Dwayne Evans scored a team-high 18 points for Saint Louis (6-2), including 16 in the second half, and Jordair Jett and Mike McCall Jr. each contributed 12 points and three steals in the loss.

Both losses suffered by the Billikens this year have come to ranked teams. In addition to Sunday’s loss, Saint Louis also fell to then No. 10 Wisconsin on Nov. 26.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and can be followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

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