GW-Saint Joseph's preview: Mikic, Where art thou?

GW-Saint Joseph's preview: Mikic, Where art thou?
March 5, 2014, 1:00 am

Matchup: George Washington (21-7, 9-5 Atlantic 10) vs. Saint Joseph's (21-7, 11-3)

When: Wednesday, 9 p.m.

Where: Smith Center

Broadcast: TV - CSN-plus, Radio - 1050 AM.

What's new: Maurice Creek scored 22 points including GW's first 11 of the second half as the Colonials defeated George Mason 66-58 win on Sunday. GW swept the season series and improved to 13-1 at home. The Hawks have won six straight and 17 of 20 including last Saturday's 83-74 victory over Saint Bonaventure.

History: The Colonials have lost three straight in the series and four consecutive home games against Saint Joseph's. The Hawks hold a 33-24 all-time lead.

KenPom: George Washington 42 Saint Joseph's 54

RPI: George Washington 32 Saint Joseph's 34

Coaches: George Washington - Mike Lonergan; Saint Joseph's - Phil Martelli

Leaders: Scoring (Maurice Creek, 14.0), Rebounding (Isaiah Armwood, 8.7), Assists (Joe McDonald, 4.0)

Links: Power of prayer, 3-point shooting carries GW's Creek

Last time out: Creek scored 22 points including GW's first 11 of the second half as the Colonials swept the season series from George Mason with a 66-58 win on Sunday.

What's at stake: The Colonials are still pushing for a top-4 finish in the A-10 in order to receive a double-bye in the conference tournament. GW enters Wednesday's matchup tied for fourth place with Massachusetts and one-game behind VCU. However, the Minutemen hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, meaning the Colonials likely must win their final two games for a shot at fourth place. GW closes the regular season at Fordham on Saturday. UMass faces 10th place Duquesne on Thursday before hosting No. 17 Saint Louis on Sunday.

Senior day: GW doesn't want to imagine where the program would be this season without the "Zeke and Creek" show. That becomes a reality next campaign as the two transfers along with forward Nemanja Mikic are entering the final stretch of their Foggy Bottom careers. The trio will be honored at the Colonials final home game

In two seasons since transferring from Villanova, "Zeke" Armwood has 116 blocks, six most in program history. He is five assists shy of joining Omar Williams ('06) as the only two players in GW history to record at least 500 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, 100 assists and 50 steals in their careers. 

Creek, who joined the program this season after time with Indiana, leads the Colonials in scoring. Mikic ranks fifth all-time with 182 career 3's. However...

Missing Mikic: One of GW's early strengths this season, 3-point shooting. The addition of Creek certainly boosted the numbers for a team that generated minimal production from beyond the arc last season. Mikic also knocked down shots, sinking at least four in three of the first eight games. The native of Serbia benefited from open looks caused in part by Creek's presence and Kethan Savage's penetration. With Savage sidelined, Mikic's touch has disappeared. Only once in the last 10 games has he made more than one 3-pointer. In that stretch the senior is 9 of 37 from beyond the arc. The Colonials essentially have no bench scoring production, as evidenced by nine points over their last two games. That would change if Mikic heats up. 

The Hawks: The A-10's hottest team - now one game behind first place Saint Louis - doubles as the top 3-point shooting squad. Guard Langston Hughes paces St. Joseph's with 16.9 points and leads the A-10 with 84 3-pointers.  Forwards Ronald Roberts (14.6 ppg) and Halil Kanacevic (10.6 ppg) anchor the paint. combine for 15.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks.