Adams Scores 17 in 71-63 Setback to GW
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) – Joe McDonald’s driving layup tied the game with 3 seconds left in regulation and his 3-point basket to open the overtime period put George Washington ahead to stay as the Colonials (5-0) remained unbeaten with a 71-63 victory over Miami (3-3) in Thursday’s opening game of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy in Titan Gym at Cal State Fullerton.
Garrius Adams led Miami with 17 points. Rion Brown had 16 points and 9 rebounds and Donnavan Kirk added 11 boards.
George Washington squandered a pair of 12-point leads in the second half. The Hurricanes outscored the Colonials, 24-12, over the final 10 minutes of regulation but let a 59-56 lead get away in the final minute.
“We missed some layups and free throws and let them back into the game,” said GWU Coach Mike Lonergan. “We were fortunate to get the game into overtime where we played pretty well.”
Miami plays again Friday at 3 p.m. PST vs. Cal State Fullerton.
Trailing by 3 points in the final minute of regulation, GWU’s Maurice Creek stole the ball from Adams and drew a foul that led to a free throw that made it 59-57 and set the stage for McDonald’s game-tying bucket. In overtime, Creek made a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock for a 67-61 lead with 2:40 to play.
“That was the dagger,” said Miami Coach Jim Larrañaga of Creeks’ shot from beyond the top of the key. “On our last possession of regulation we were hoping to draw a foul.”
Adams’ desperation shot at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim.
The Colonials led at the half, 27-26, after 20 see-saw minutes that featured five lead changes and four ties. Miami scored the first 6 points for the biggest lead by either team. Kelly James led the Hurricanes with 8 points off the bench, all inside, while Mikic, also a reserve, had 8 to lead the Colonials, who saw 7 different players score their first 7 field goals.
GWU opened the second half with a 16-5 run over less than 6 minutes to open its first 12-point advantage at 43-31.
“We let them get inside our defense and they scored 11 points in about 4 minutes after we allowed them only 27 in the first half,” said Larrañaga.
Miami has now played three overtime games this season, with a record of 1-2 in those instances.
The Canes hit 15-of-17 free throws against GWU, the fifth time this season UM has hit 70 percent or better from the stripe. Miami has shot 80 percent or better in three outings.
Rion Brown grabbed nine rebounds against GWU, the fifth game this season he has pulled down at least seven rebounds.
Brown was 7-of-7 at the free throw line, upping his season total to 23-of-25. He has now made hit last 12 free throws, dating back to the game against Georgia Southern.
Donnavan Kirk grabbed 11 rebounds against the Colonials, his third game of the year with double-digit boards.
Kirk swatted four shots by GWU, his season high. He has a block in every game this season, and multiple blocks in all but one outing.
Garrius Adams notched 17 points against GWU, the second-most of the season behind his 20 points against UCF.
Adams also grabbed eight rebounds and five assists, each just one short of his career best in the category.
James Kelly scored 11 points, pulled down six rebounds and blocked one shot. This is the third-straight game Kelly has swatted a shot.
Tonye Jekiri recorded two points and one rebound, assist, block and steal. This is the first game of the season with a stat in each of those columns.
Miami Coach Jim Larrañaga – “The first half is what was kind of what we were planning. We didn’t want to get in a run and shoot game with them. We did not want to give them any inside baskets. We were able to take away the fast break points, except when we turned the ball over.”
“In the second half we didn’t do it. They got right inside our defense and scored 11 points in the first four minutes in the second half. We had only given up like 27 points in the first half. So, called a couple of timeouts and switching to the zone, which slowed them down for a little bit and we were able to get a couple of defensive stops and we started to make some shots and we were able to get the game back within single digits and make it a close contest. “
“Then, the last possession we were up two in regulation, we had the ball and were really hoping to draw a foul, to really attack the basket. They went to that one-three-one zone and we never solved that. We were very tentative against that defense. We ended up giving them some open looks in overtime and they cashed in on it. They deserve the credit. Hopefully we’ll continue to improve.”
George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan – “Very happy we came away with a win, it was a hard fought game and it didn’t look good for us late down by three after missing a couple free throws and a layup, but our guys hung in there and made some plays and forced the game into overtime, where we played well”.
“I told the team that we gave them some easy baskets and gave them a four point play, so that’s fine we have four timeouts and we need to make some plays now. They’re a young and inexperienced team so we had to go with a one-three-one zone to put a little pressure on them and our guys needed to make plays. They did and I give them all the credit in the world”
“I actually thought we were going to extend the lead in the second half, (Armwood) got a tough moving screen foul and we landed on a three-point shooter where momentum plays a lot and is a big part of the game. They made plays and so we definitely lost momentum, which was disappointing to give up that lead, but I thought Isaiah Armwood could play with four and he did which was big.
George Washington Guard Maurice Creek – “First of all I want to thank god for me hitting that shot. I didn’t have a great shooting night, but with time running down I was just telling my teammates to get me the ball and Joe McDonald got the ball in my hands again and that’s a prime example of having a great point guard that we have; he found me and he knew where I would be to knock down that shot.
George Washington Guard Joe McDonald – “I talked to coach the timeout before I knew he was going to let us play it out and see. I felt like I could take advantage of the freshmen guard who’s a little smaller and I waited for my shot.”