George Mason rallies, stuns Richmond at the buzzer, 67-64

george-mason2Junior Sherrod Wright sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the final horn expired, lifting the George Mason men’s basketball team to a 67-64 victory over the University of Richmond Saturday afternoon. Mason (7-4), which did not lead until the final 1:34 of the contest, captured the victory in the opening game of the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic at Richmond Coliseum, while the Spiders dropped to 9-4.

Wright led all scorers with 22 points, and was joined in double figures by sophomore Corey Edwards, who assisted the game-winner, as Edwards chipped in a career-high 13 points. Richmond was led by 22 points from Darien Brothers.

The Spiders led by as many as 12 in the second half, but the Patriots gradually chipped away at the deficit and, fueled by a 16-3 run spanning more than six minutes, junior Jonathan Arledge tipped in a missed Edwards jumper at the 1:34 mark to give Mason its first lead at 63-62. Edwards then hit the back end of a pair of free throws with under a minute to go, making it a two-point lead.

Richmond tied the score though, as Cedrick Lindsay collected the rebound off a missed Derrick Williams 3-point attempt and laid it in with 20 seconds to play. A foul by Alonzo Nelson-Ododa with five seconds on the clock put the ball on the sideline, and after the inbound, Edwards kicked it out to Wright whose shot found the bottom of the net. It was Wright’s second game-winner, after also draining a 3-pointer last February at home against VCU.

Mason had cut the gap to one possession early in the second half using a 7-0 run, nearly erasing the 41-32 halftime lead for Richmond. The Spiders staked their early advantage behind strong 3-point shooting, going 8-for-11 from behind the arc (72.7 percent) in the first half.

The Patriots out-rebounded the Spiders by a 31-27 margin, outscored them 26-16 in the paint, and won the turnover battle by a 19-17 margin.

After a one-week break for the holidays, Mason will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule next Saturday night at 7 p.m., traveling to BIG EAST foe South Florida.

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