ANAHEIM, Calif. -- George Washington closed on a 10-0 run to defeat No. 20 Creighton, 60-53, in the third-place game of the Wooden Legacy on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.
Creighton dropped to 5-2 with its second straight loss, while George Washington is now 6-1.
George Washington came out the aggressor in the opening minutes, building an 18-10 lead by the second media timeout. The Colonials did it thanks to 7-of-11 shooting early, as well as an 8-3 edge on the glass.
Creighton would fall behind by 13 points on a pair of occasions before scoring the final five of the period to trail 32-24. CU got five points each from seniors Grant Gibbs and Ethan Wragge in the first half, while GW was paced by eight points from Kevin Larsen.
Creighton turned the run into a 10-0 flurry, scoring the first five points after intermission to cut the GW lead to 32-29 with 17 minutes to play. CU would have three chances to tie or go ahead, but could not convert before a Maurice Creek bucket returned GW's lead to four and Kethan Savage's breakaway dunk made it a 42-34 lead a short time later.
With strong defense and a more consistent offense, Creighton would rally. A three-pointer by Gibbs and long two-pointer by Wragge got the Jays within three, and Gibbs would then drive the lane for a one-handed jam to get CU within one point. Wragge would follow with a trey to give CU its first lead, 44-42 with 6:16 left, and force a Colonials timeout.
GW went ahead 48-47 before an Austin Chatman lay-up and a second Gibbs dunk made it 51-48 with 2:42 left. The teams then traded baskets, including a Jahenns Manigat stickback witih 2:15 left, setting up GW's game-ending run.
Joe McDonald began the burst with a lay-up before Chatman would miss on a drive. GW then went ahead on a score inside from Kevin Larsen, making it 54-53 with 1:05 left. Gibbs would have his shot with 23 seconds left get blocked, only to have Chatman chase down the offensive board in the backcourt. He would drive back to the lane, only to have it swiped by Maurice Creek, who was then fouled.
Creek sank a pair of foul shots to put GW up three points with 14.0 seconds left. The Bluejays were then whistled for an offensive foul on the inbounds pass, ruining any chance at a tying basket. The Colonials would sink 6-of-6 free throws in the final 15 seconds overall to ice the win.
Wragge paced Creighton with 16 points to go with a career-best nine rebounds, as the senior sank four three-pointers as well as his first two-pointer of the year. Gibbs added 12 points for the Jays, as well. Creighton had season-lows in nearly every offensive category, making 33.9 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point land.
George Washington was paced by 14 points from Larsen, while McDonald and Isaiah Armwood both finished with 12 each. George Washington shot 39.3 percent from the floor, including 4-of-9 from deep, and turned 13 Bluejay turnovers into 17 points.
Creighton will remain in Orange County before its next game, a Tuesday night tilt at Long Beach State that is scheduled for a 9 pm Central tip. That game will not be televised, but will air on-line at http://www.bigwest.org/tv.
NOTES: Ethan Wragge started the second half in place of Will Artino ... Creighton's 24-point first half was its lowest scoring half of the season ...Ethan Wragge's nine rebounds were a career-high ...Doug McDermott's streak of eight straight 20-point games was halted, as was his stretch of 18 straight games in double-figures. He finished with seven points ... It was the first meeting between the schools ... Geoffrey Groselle threw down his first dunk as a Bluejay late in the first half, while Grant Gibbs had a pair of dunks in the second half.