George Washington (7-1) vs. Maryland (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 8, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Center (18.277) -- Washington, D.C. Television: MASN. Home Record: George Washington 4-0, Maryland 2-1. Away Record: George Washington 1-0, Maryland 0-1. Neutral Record: George Washington 2-1, Maryland 3-1. Conference Record: George Washington 0-0, Maryland 0-0. Series Record: Maryland leads, 36-31.
GAME NOTES: As part of the BB&T Classic the George Washington Colonials will take on the Maryland Terrapins in non-conference action at the Verizon Center.
The Colonials have been red hot to start the season with seven wins in eight chances entering Sunday's doubleheader event. The Colonials took down Rutgers (93-87) on Wednesday for their second straight win, the first of which came against previously ranked Creighton during the Wooden Legacy. George Washington gets back home to host Boston University next.
Maryland was in the midst of its own hot streak before taking on No. 5 Ohio State as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday. The Terps suffered a 76-60 defeat against the Buckeyes, a loss that ended a four-game win streak for the squad. Maryland is now 5-3 overall this season. Following this game the Terps head north to begin league play against Boston College.
This is the first meeting between these regional foes since Maryland cruised to a 76-53 victory in this event during the 2008-09 season. The Terps have won three of the last five matchups and own a 36-31 edge in the all-time series, though the teams are tied at five wins apiece when facing off as part of the BB&T Classic.
Thanks to 31 combined points from Isaiah Armwood and Kevin Larsen, the Colonials were able to outlast Rutgers in a shootout. The Colonials outscored the Scarlet Knights, 40-22, in the paint and also held a 35-29 edge on the boards. A 16-7 advantage in points off turnovers was useful as well.
George Washington is well equipped for offensive shootouts. The Colonials are scoring 80.3 points and dishing out 15.9 assists per game, while shooting 48.1 percent from the field. All three of those marks lead the Atlantic 10. However the Colonials haven't always had to deal with close matchups, limiting foes to just 39.8 percent shooting. Armwood (14.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.8 bpg) can always be relied upon for strong efforts as he scores, finishes at the rim and protects the paint. Maurice Creek (15.2 ppg) actually leads the team in scoring, while Kethan Savage (12.9 ppg) and Larsen (10 ppg, 5.6 rpg) fill in the gaps.
It was Maryland that was the superior team on the interior against Ohio State but it didn't matter. The Terps were outscored, 25-8, on points off turnovers and allowed the Buckeyes to hit on 52.1 percent from the field during the game. Those efforts outweighed the 44-34 and 44-30 respective advantages on scoring in the paint and on the boards.
In comparison to the rest of the ACC the Terps have been a rather poor offensive team. Maryland is scoring 72.5 points per game and netting an even 45 percent from the floor, with both marks ranked 12th in the league. Maryland does play solid defense. The Terps keep teams to 63.9 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting while also bringing down 40.4 rebounds a contest. Jake Layman (14.6 ppg, 6 rpg) leads the team in scoring and is one of the better rebounders. Dez Wells (13.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Evan Smotrycz (13.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg) are the next best scoring options, while Nick Faust (9 ppg) provides a threat from 3-point distance and Charles Mitchell (9.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg) keeps the team fresh off the bench.
Both of these teams have their strengths in the frontcourt. The battle down low will decide this game and with Armwood, the Colonials have a slight advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 78, Maryland 76
12/08 10:35:05 ET