WASHINGTON -- A winning weekend enabled No. 13 Maryland to overcome doubts created by an unpleasant start to a season of lofty expectations.
Byron Mouton scored 17 points and the Terrapins held off feisty George Washington 71-63 Sunday to win the BB&T Classic.
In the third-place game, Anthony Glover scored a season-high 27 points and No. 19 St. John's pulled away to a 97-83 victory over Michigan.
Maryland was ranked fifth in the preseason Top 25, but two losses in the Maui Invitational and an overtime loss at Wisconsin left the Terrapins at 1-3, their worst start since 1968.
But Maryland routed Michigan on Saturday and avenged last year's loss to GW in the title game to climb back to .500.
"To play Wisconsin close and then win two in a row, we're heading in the right direction," coach Gary Williams said.
Mouton, a junior transfer from Tulane, went 8-of-12 from the field to help Maryland repel the Colonials (5-2). Lonny Baxter and Juan Dixon each had 13 points for the Terrapins, who limited George Washington to 35 percent shooting, including 2-for-16 from 3-point range.
"We could be an outstanding defensive team this year, and that's what has carried us to 3-3," Williams said. "As long as our defense continues strong, our offense is going to get better."
The game was tied with 9:35 left before a follow shot by Tahj Holden, a dunk by Baxter and a short jumper by Drew Nicholas put the Terrapins up by six. After a GW basket, Mouton hit a jumper and Baxter added two free throws to make it 63-55.
Tournament MVP SirValiant Brown scored 18 points and Jason Smith added 14 for George Washington, which shocked Maryland in last year's title game.
"You knew after last year they were going to bring their A-game with them," Colonials coach Tom Penders said.
GW closed to 64-61 with 1:44 left, but Terence Morris scored inside and Baxter made two free throws to cement the victory.
The Colonials went 21-for-21 at the free throw line, but were only 20-for-57 from the field. Despite the loss, Penders took consolation in staying close with Maryland after beating St. John's by 85-75 on Saturday.
"I think our kids showed this weekend that we can compete against anybody in the Top 25," he said. "I think we came of age today."
In the consolation game, Omar Cook scored 20 points and Willie Shaw and Reggie Jessie each had 19 for St. John's (4-2), which never trailed after halftime.
Michigan (2-4), which started two freshmen and two sophomores, lost its third straight. LaVell Blanchard and Bernard Robinson both scored 18 points for the Wolverines, who led by 11 in the first half but wilted under the weight of 18 turnovers and 28 fouls.
Glover, a sophomore forward, made half of his 20 shots from the field and was 7-for-12 at the line.
"I was hot," he said. "I just let the rest of the team know, 'Why not go to your bread and butter?' There are a few guys who are leaders on this team, and I'm trying to be one of them."
St. John's led 66-65 before Glover hit a jumper and Jessie made a layup. After a free throw by Robinson, Cook hit a 3-pointer to make it 73-67.
Michigan made a foul shot before Glover scored in the lane and Jessie added three straight points for a 78-68 lead with 3:37 to go.
"I'll go home feeling some very positive things about my team," Red Storm coach Mike Jarvis said.
Asked if he could find anything good about a weekend in which his team lost twice by a combined 45 points, Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe said, "This gets us ready for what the Big Ten is like. We're going to play teams at this level every night."
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