For long-suffering GW basketball fans: Let yesterday’s win sink in.
For freshman or those new to GW sports: The victory against No. 20 Creighton was the first time the Colonials beat a ranked team since Dec. 5, 2005 when they defeated No. 21 Maryland. Current students were still in elementary and middle school.
This is reason for excitement GW fans sorely needed.
Already, we’ve seen signs of enthusiasm picking up. The post-game Twitter explosion showed the first positive indicator of the Colonial Army’s latest recruitment drive and alumni chirping smack talk for the first time in years.
Friends from other schools will try to poo-poo this victory. They’ll say Creighton is not a basketball powerhouse (though they are in the Big East), but that doesn’t discount the significance of GW’s win.
The victory came against the best player they’ll face this season and the best senior in college basketball, Doug McDermott. The six-foot eight-inch forward came into Sunday’s game averaging nearly 30 points per game, making NBA teams swoon.
But that star power did not intimidate senior Isaiah Armwood. For 34 minutes, Armwood ate McDermott’s lunch.
McDermott started off on the wrong foot from the first possession of the game, when he was called for a traveling violation. In Creighton’s final possession, he watched from the bench. He finished with 7 points on 2-12 shooting and two turnovers – his fifth lowest offensive output of his four-year career. All this against GW, a team that hasn’t won a game against a ranked school in almost a decade.
Last night, GW won the game that teams of years passed lost — exorcising the demons from last season’s three-point home loss to No. 14 Butler in the process.
On Sunday, a resilient bunch of Colonials did not crumble when Creighton took their first lead of the game with 6:24 remaining in the second half. Instead, they showed heart that has not existed in years past, outscoring Creighton 18-9 the duration of the game.
This was first display of a true winner’s grit in a big game since head coach Mike Lonergan was named head coach three years ago. He grabbed the resume builder that every mid-major basketball coach dreams about.
GW now basks in the much-earned warm embrace of the national spotlight. But most important is the hope of long-suffering and new fans alike – the spotlight that never lets go. See you Wednesday night at the Smith Center.
The writer, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.