Rutgers (4-4) at George Washington (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Smith Center (5.000) -- Washington, D.C. Television: CSN, SNY. Home Record: Rutgers 3-3, George Washington 3-0. Away Record: Rutgers 0-1, George Washington 1-0. Neutral Record: Rutgers 0-0, George Washington 2-1. Conference Record: Rutgers 0-0, George Washington 0-0. Series Record: Rutgers leads, 22-18.
GAME NOTES: The George Washington Colonials will look to build off an impressive victory as they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a non- conference affair at the Smith Center.
A 3-1 start to the season has gone by the wayside for the Scarlet Knights, who enter play on Wednesday with as many wins as losses (4-4). Rutgers' most recent loss may have been its most egregious as it was upset at home by Fairleigh Dickinson. Rutgers gets to play its next six games at home, including clashes with in-state foes Seton Hall and Princeton.
George Washington is returning to the Smith Center after spending the weekend on the West Coast in the Wooden Legacy. The Colonials went 2-1 during the event, including a 60-53 stunner over then No. 20 Creighton. The victory was the sixth in seven tries for the Colonials, who travel to face Maryland next.
These teams met for the first time since 1995 a year ago when Rutgers escaped with a 68-65 victory at home. The win increased the Scarlet Knights' lead in the all-time series to 22-18.
Rutgers trailed for most of the second half against Fairleigh Dickinson but managed to claim a 69-66 lead with just under two minutes to play. However, the Scarlet Knights went 1-of-4 from the floor in the final minute to allow Fairleigh Dickinson to close the gap and claim the victory.
Some of the blame for the loss can be blamed on the absence of Kadeem Jack. The Scarlet Knight's leading scorer (15.6 ppg) and rebounder (7.9 pg) was sidelined in the game due to a sore right leg. He is expected to play on Wednesday, which is obviously good news. J.J. Moore (13.8 ppg) stepped into the go-to scorers role in Jack's absence and finished with 26 points. Myles Mack (13.6 ppg) is another double-figure scorer but he has not been shooting as efficiently as he did a year ago (.363). In their first year under head coach Eddie Jordan, the Scarlet Knights are scoring 76.9 points per game and hitting on 44.3 percent of their attempts from the field.
George Washington led by as many as 13 points and then held off a late charge to finish off Creighton. Defense was key for the Colonials, who had a 17-4 edge in points off turnovers and held the Bluejays to 33.9 percent shooting.
The Colonials' 6-1 start has featured some strong defensive showings as they are allowing only 64.4 points per game, while owning a spot among the top 30 teams in the nation in opponent field-goal percentage (.382). On the other end the Colonials are also playing well, netting 78.4 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting. Maurice Creek (14.9 pp) carries the bulk of the offensive load, although he gets plenty of help from Isaiah Armwood (13.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.9 bpg) and Kethan Savage (12.1 ppg). Armwood really cleans up inside as a strong rebounder and extremely effective shot blocker.
Having Armwood on the inside gives the Colonials a more than serviceable answer to Rutgers and Jack. Even at full strength the Scarlet Knights' leading scorer may have some trouble on the inside and that will spell doom for Rutgers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 72, Rutgers 64
12/04 10:34:37 ET