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George Mason tops William and Mary

george-mason2Redshirt junior Sherrod Wright scored a career-high 28 points, leading the George Mason men’s basketball team back from a halftime deficit in a 73-66 victory over William & Mary Saturday at Kaplan Arena. The win moves the Patriots to 1-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play and 8-6 overall, while the Tribe dropped to 7-6 (1-1 CAA).

Wright topped his previous mark by four points behind 10-of-17 shooting from the field, including a 7-8 mark from the free throw line, and added a team-high seven rebounds. Joining him in double figures was sophomore Corey Edwards who chipped in 10 points. Wright led an effort on the glass that out-rebounded the Tribe by a 37-25 mark, translating into a 15-2 advantage in second chance scoring.

Three W&M players scored in double-digits, led by 19 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Rusthoven and 19 points by Marcus Thornton. Brandon Britt added 18 as the trio accounted for all but 10 of the Tribe’s points.

Mason scored the first seven points of the afternoon as the Tribe missed their first three shots, while the Patriots were perfect from the field in the first three minutes of the game. The run extended to 11-2, but the Tribe would answer with back-to-back treys to close within one possession.

A push by the Patriots gave them an 18-11 lead after Allen’s reverse layup at the 13:10 mark, and they would go on to lead by as many as eight before a 14-2 W&M run gave the Tribe their first lead of the game. Thornton hit a 3-pointer and Britt made a layup inside the final minute of the period, making the score 37-33 as the teams headed to the halftime locker room.

Mason out-rebounded the Tribe by a 22-12 margin in the opening period but W&M held a 52-to-41 percent shooting advantage, with Thornton leading the way with 14 points. Wright had 12 points to pace the Patriot offense.

The Tribe would lead by as many as six in the opening minutes of the second half, before an 8-0 Patriots run switched the advantage back to Mason at 45-43 with 12:30 left on the clock. Mason would hold onto the lead until Thornton tied it and Britt put the Tribe ahead, 56-55, with a free throw at the 6:18 mark. Britt struck again with three minutes left, tying the score at 61-all on a 3-pointer, but the Patriots answered with seven in a row to push the game out of reach for William & Mary.

Mason will return home for its next contest, hosting Old Dominion University on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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