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ODU men’s basketball defeats George Mason, 71-66

The george mason men’s basketball team erased a 13-point deficit and cut the score to a one possession ballgame within the final minute of play, but could not pull out a win as Old Dominion survived a 71-66 victory Saturday night in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Mason finished non-conference play with a 7-7 record. ODU improved to 6-9.

odu logoIn the final five minutes, the teams shot a combined 38 free throws as the Monarchs went 14-for-26 and finished the game 28-of-46 from the free throw line. The Monarchs led by eight with less than a minute left in regulation, but the Patriots would make it a single possession ballgame on a pair of free throws from Bryon Allen with eight seconds left. Aaron Bacote and Allen traded free throws over the next two seconds as Bacote went back to the line with four seconds on the clock. The Monarch hit the front end of the free throws as Mason pulled down the rebound, but quickly lost possession and put Bacote on the line for the final time. Bacote closed the game with two free throws for the final 71-66 score.

ODU’s final field goal of the contest occurred at the 8:10 mark as Mason shot 50.0 percent from the field in the last eight minutes and outscored the Monarchs 20-14. Allen contributed 10 points to the effort followed by Sherrod Wright with eight points, all from the free throw line.

For the contest, Wright finished with a game-high 25 points and went 14-for-18 at the free throw line to tie his career-high. Allen finished with 18 points as Patrick Holloway added 10 to the effort. Johnny Williams led Mason on the glass with 10 rebounds and fell just short of a double-double with eight points. Mason won the edge on glass, 38-33.

Four Monarchs posted double-figure scoring numbers led by Bacote with 20 points (10-of-18 free throws). ODU shot 44.4 percent from the field, but was held to a 30.0 percent effort in the second half, while the Patriots shot 41.7 percent in the final stanza.

Mason closed out non-conference play at ODU and makes its Atlantic 10 Conference debut on Thursday, January 9 facing long-time rival VCU. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. in Richmond and will be televised on CBSSN.

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