Mason rally falls short at Delaware
The George Mason men’s basketball team could not overcome a double-digit first half deficit, as the Patriots dropped a 65-60 decision on Wednesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center. Mason (18-6, 10-2 CAA) saw its six-game win streak come to an end, as the Blue Hens (11-12, 6-6) earned a season split in the series.
Senior Ryan Pearson led the Mason offense with a game-high 25 points and had a team-best eight rebounds. Joining him with double-digit scoring was sophomore Sherrod Wright and senior Mike Morrison, who chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively. Kyle Anderson led the Blue Hens with 21 points, and Jamelle Hagins led a 43-33 UD advantage off the glass with nine boards.
Even at 10-all, the Blue Hens embarked on a 13-1 run which moved their lead to double-digits at 23-11. Mason was kept without a field goal for more than five minutes, until a Morrison jumper banked in just inside the 10-minute mark. The UD lead would grow as large as 17 in the first half, before the Patriots countered with nine in a row to move the margin back to single digits. Copes drained a jumper with less than one second remaining to set the halftime margin of 32-24.
Pearson had seven points in the run, leading the Mason offense with 10 points overall at the break. Morrison had nine points, as the Patriots were out-shot by a 44.4-to-33.3 percent margin and outrebounded 21-16. Anderson paced the Blue Hens with 12 points, all of which coming from beyond the 3-point arc.
UD jumped out with the first five points of the half, but the Patriots outscored the Blue Hens 11-4 over the next four-plus minutes to cut the deficit to six at 41-35. It got even closer, after a pair of Wright free throws cut it to 46-44 Blue Hens with 9:20 left in the half. Delaware responded with a 9-2 run which pushed the margin out to nine. The Blue Hens would match it at 60-51 inside of a minute remaining, before the Patriots used staunch defense to force turnovers and cut it to three at 63-60. A pair of Hagins free throws sealed the victory for UD, though.
Mason will look to return to the win column with a sold-out Homecoming date with Old Dominion on Saturday afternoon. Tip time on ESPNU is set for 5 p.m.