|Offense Clicks As Men's Basketball Knocks Off Towson, 77-67|
TOWSON, Md. - Redshirt junior Sherrod Wright scored his 10th 20-point game of the season, helping power the George Mason men's basketball team to a 77-67 Colonial Athletic Association victory at Towson on Wednesday night. With the win, Mason's third in a row, the Patriots moved into second place in the CAA standings at 5-2 and 12-7 overall, while the Tigers dropped to 10-11, 5-3 in conference.
Wright led all players with 24 points, including a 14-of-17 showing at the free throw line, while junior Bryon Allen added 16 points and freshman Marko Gujanicic contributed 12 along with a team-high nine rebounds. Mason, who had 20 assists on 26 field goals, was led in that category by Allen who dished six assists. Towson, which won the rebounding battle 44-34, was led by 18 points by Rafriel Guthrie and 16 points from Jerrelle Benimon.
Mason opened up the game with a 6-2 run, but the Tigers answered with seven out of the next nine to tie the score on a Damas layup, 9-9, with 13:36 left in the half. Towson went on to lead by as many as three, after a pair of Burwell free throws made it 18-15 just under three minutes later. Two more free throws by Benimon switched the lead back to Towson, 20-19, but it would be the final advantage for the hosts in the first half.
Mason broke a 21-21 tie at the 8:03 mark when Allen converted a free throw attempt, sparking a 14-3 run by the Patriots that spanned four minutes and saw Mason's lead grow to double-digits. Marko Gujanicic rebounded his own missed layup and put it back to make the score 37-26, and the Tigers eventually moved within seven, 41-34, as the first half came to a close.
Wright led the Patriots with 13 points and six rebounds in the opening stanza, one in which Mason shot 50 percent from the field but was out-rebounded by a 24-17 margin. Burwell scored nine points to pace the Tigers while Dixon had seven rebounds.
The Patriots never trailed in the second half, despite an 8-2 run to open play by the Tigers which cut the Mason lead to 43-42 at the 17:25 mark. Gujanicic pushed the lead back to six, and it would remain the largest margin until Wright's free throw with 9:34 on the clock made it 59-52 Patriots. From there, Towson got as close as three after a Kris Walden trey made it 64-61 with just under six minutes remaining.
That would the last time the margin was within one score, as Mason answered with four straight to take a seven-point lead, and was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute of play to close out the victory.
Mason will be back in action on Sunday night, traveling to conference leader Northeastern for an 8 p.m. tip-off from Matthews Arena.