GW beats UMass 85-77 to reach A-10 semifinals

UMass forward Maxie Esho (1) moves down court after stealing the ball from George Washington guard Maurice Creek (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament at the Barclays Center in New York, Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Patricio Garino scored 15 points, Nemanja Mikic came off the bench to add 14 and George Washington showed off its depth and versatility in an 85-77 victory against Massachusetts in the Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinals Friday night.

The third-seeded Colonials (24-7) avenged a regular-season loss to UMass (24-8) and won at the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2007. That was also the last time GW made the NCAA tournament.

George Washington will play No. 23 VCU in the semifinals on Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn — but regardless of the outcome the Colonials are in fine shape to end their NCAA drought.

Maxie Esho had a career-high 22 points and seven rebounds for the sixth-seeded Minutemen, who are still looking good to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. Chaz Williams had 16 of his 19 points in the second half for UMass.