Joe McDonald’s buzzer-beating putback lifts George Washington over Dayton in overtime (VIDEO)

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George Washington junior guard Kethan Savage, with the ball in his hands with 6.6 seconds left, trailing 64-63 to Dayton. He waved off a high ball screen and took Kyle Davis off the dribble. Scoochie Smith was late rotating over and while he made a last-ditch effort at a swipe, he turned his back on Joe McDonald.

The 6-foot-1 guard collecting Savage’s block shot and banking in the game-winning bucket as the time expired for a dramatic 65-64 win at home on Friday night.

Moments earlier, Kyle Davis drained a baseline 3-pointer to give Dayton a 64-63 lead with 16 seconds left, erasing a six-point overtime deficit.

Savage had the ball in his hands at the end of regulation. He forced his way into the lane, but his jumper rattled in-and-out. Dayton got the ball back with 1.5 seconds left, though, not enough to get a look at the basket.

This was an important win for Mike Lonergan’s team. In College Basketball Talk‘s latest bracket (posted Friday morning), the Colonials were listed as one of the “Next Five Out” meaning they had work to do to get back on the right side of the bubble. A win over Dayton, rated in the kenpom top 40, is a good start, especially After a 24-point loss at conference-leading VCU followed by another road at Rhode Island, currently second in the A-10 standings.

Friday’s overtime win gives George Washington an edge over Dayton for third-place in the conference standings, which could come in handy for the Atlantic 10 Tournament in March.

In eight days, the Colonials host No. 18 VCU with two games against Davidson also left on the schedule. That gives the Colonials opportunities to add to a resume that includes wins over the Flyers and Wichita State.