FAIRFAX, Va. - A late run by Northeastern allowed the Huskies to pull away
from the George Mason men's basketball team, as the Patriots fell 74-64 in
their Colonial Athletic Association opener on Thursday night. Mason (7-6, 0-1)
dropped its first CAA home game since 2010 while the Huskies improved to 6-7,
1-0 in conference.
Junior Sherrod Wright led the Patriots with 19 points and
was joined in double digits by classmate Vertrail Vaughns who contributed 13.
Both junior Jonathan Arledge and sophomore Erik Copes had nine rebounds to lead
a 34-27 advantage off the glass by the Patriots. NU, which shot 64 percent from
the field in the second half, was led by 20 points from Jonathan Lee, one of
three Huskies in double digits.
Northeastern opened the contest with seven of the first nine
points on the scoreboard, but Wright scored seven in a row to equalize the game
at 9-all at the 16-minute mark. He continued after the media timeout, hitting a
pair of free throws to give Mason its first lead at 11-9 less than a minute
later. It was part of a larger 13-2 run that made the score 15-9 seven minutes
into the game.
The Patriots continued to lead until the 6:48 mark when
Lee's layup in the lane tied the score at 20-20. Five in a row for each squad
kept it knotted up, and Mason would take a 31-25 lead with six more unanswered
points. The Patriots eventually led by as many as nine, including a Copes
turnaround jumper in the lane at the 28-second mark which made it 37-28.
Derrico Peck stopped a 12-1 run with a jumper with five seconds left to set the
halftime score of 37-30.
Wright along with Lee each scored nine to lead all scorers.
Mason shot better, by a 53.6-to-40 percent margin from the field, and
outrebounded the Huskies 16-13, forcing eight turnovers on eight steals while
the Patriots committed just six in their highest scoring first half of the
NU got to within a basket in the opening minutes of the
second half at 39-37 and tied the score at 42 less than four minutes into the
period. The Patriots would use an 8-2 run to push their lead back to six, but
again the Huskies answered, tying the game with just under 10 minutes to play
Northeastern would regain the lead at 60-58 after a
Demetrius Pollard 3-pointer inside of seven minutes remaining, completing a run
of six straight points. Tied at 60 though, the Huskies embarked on a 13-3 run
and would lead by as many as 11 as they salted away the game.
Mason will be back in action on Saturday, traveling to face
William & Mary in their first road CAA contest of the season. Tip time from
Kaplan Arena is set for 2 p.m.