Hurricane's Henry Sorsaia defends against George Washington's Luke Eddy.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There's no doubt Luke Eddy can carry his weight on the George Washington team, and he showed as much by scoring 39 points Wednesday in the Patriots' 76-69 win over Hurricane on The Hill.
The idea is to see how much help he can get from his mostly youthful teammates.
As the Patriots improved to 8-3 by downing the the 10th-ranked Redskins, Domenik King scored 12, Alex Lewis added 10, Cameron Hoston seven and Austin Breeden six. Their development is as important as any factor in coach Rick Greene's team.
"Austin Breeden's catching up. Foul shots were a little off tonight, but that happens," said Eddy, one of the Patriots' few seniors. "To be good, we're going to need Dom, Alex to step up as well. And we've got those young freshmen out there just running around. They get lost sometimes, but they'll be all right."
The supporting cast helped put Wednesday's contest away against a tough Hurricane squad. The Redskins cut GW's game-long lead to 63-60 on a Henry Sorsaia 3-point goal, but the Patriots answered with two King free throws and a Hoston fast-break basket with 2:15 left.
When King scored off a Breeden assist to make it 71-64 with 1:19 left, the Patriots had the game under control. As it turned out, the Patriots got a single point from Eddy in the final four-plus minutes.
But when that point is No. 39, you can figure Eddy did some damage, and that was the case. For instance, he hit three straight 3-point goals to break an 11-all tie in the first quarter, and that put the Patriots up for good.
The Redskins (8-3) stayed close the rest of the way, cutting the lead to three points several times, but Eddy and company kept them at arm's length. It didn't help them that Ace Estep and Ian Miles fouled out in the final two minutes.
It was tough not to get a foul bumping around with the Patriots on this night.
"They're probably the most physical team we've played all year and I don't know if we were quite prepared for that, and that's my fault," said Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland. "We'd seen them play a couple of times and they didn't look that physical, [but] up close they were physical.
"I tell you what, I knew Luke Eddy was good, but he's probably the best I've seen this year. We did what we could to stop him but it didn't work very well."
The Redskins tried man-to-man defense with emphasis on helping Eddy's defender. That didn't quite work, so they went to a trapping press on Eddy, which led to some easy GW baskets.
Those were spread around, but Eddy kept his hand warm, and passed the 1,000-point mark in his prep career. At times, it seemed like the ball found No. 5 from anywhere on the court, and he put it in the basket.
"I don't know. I think the thing that makes him a little different from, say, the [Ryan] Meadows kid from Princeton, he's bigger and more physical," Sutherland said. "You can tell he's definitely been in the weight room. He's a stud - no ifs, ands or buts about it."
The Patriots had their troubles trying to slow down Sorsaia, who scored 26 points. Rasaan Harris added 14, Trey Dawson 12 and J.T. Rogoszewski eight.
But they couldn't stop Eddy. And when they slowed him down, GW's supporting cast stood tall, and that's what Greene will need when the postseason rolls around.
"The other kids are coming on, not quite as fast as we want, but we're being quite consistent at the other spots," Greene said. "Austin Breeden's having a good season for us so far. Alex Lewis had a good game tonight. Domenik kind of struggled, but came in the last three or four minutes and played really well, got an offensive rebound, got fouled, got some free throws down.
"It's a process with these guys, but we're getting better."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or email@example.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.