|Men's Basketball Outlasts James Madison in Harrisonburg, 74-63|
HARRISONBURG, Va. - The George Mason men's basketball jumped out to a double-digit lead in the opening minutes, and withstood every James Madison charge as the Patriots knocked off the Dukes, 74-63, in Colonial Athletic Association action Saturday evening. The win, Mason's ninth in a row over JMU (13-11, 7-4), improved the Patriots' record to 13-9, 6-4 in CAA play.
Redshirt junior Sherrod Wright posted his first career double-double while classmate Jonathan Arledge had a career-high scoring day to pace the Patriots. Wright led the team with 22 points and 11 rebounds, including an 11-for-12 mark at the free throw line, while Arledge poured in 19 points along with six rebounds. The duo paced a Patriot effort off the glass which out-rebounded JMU, 35-25. Devon Moore had 25 points to lead JMU, which was out-shot 49-to-41 percent from the field and was just 6-of-24 from beyond the arc.
The Patriots jumped out to an 11-0 lead as JMU missed their first four shots from the field, taking less than three minutes to strike. The Dukes responded with a 10-2 run of their own, as a layup by Rayshawn Goins made it 13-10 at the 14:06 mark. Mason pushed it back out to eight, with Bryon Allen's layup leaving the score 24-16 and again after a pair from Wright made it 30-22 with 2:16 left to play in the half. The Dukes would close within five points at the half, 32-27.
In just over seven minutes expired, the Patriots expanded their lead back to double-digits at 44-34, with Wright hitting two more from the stripe to make it 44-34 Mason at the 12:40 mark. Needing just over four minutes, the Dukes mounted a 15-8 charge which pulled them within a possession at 52-49.
The run extended with a Moore trey at the 6:43 mark getting the gap to just one point, 56-55. Baskets by Arledge and Wright, the latter bookended by a bonus free throw, got it back to a six point game. With six out of seven going to the Dukes, JMU was again within one point, with Andre Nation's layup with 4:19 to go leaving the score 62-61 Patriots.
Arledge hit two of his five free throws to make it 64-61 with four minutes to go, and the Dukes got no closer than three. Inside of the final two minutes with the score 65-62, Wright was fouled and a flagrant-one was assessed to Goins.
While Wright was unable to take the free throws by rule due to a visit from the athletic trainer, Arledge stepped up and sank both and, on the ensuing possession, laid it in to push Mason's lead to 71-62 with a minute to play.
Mason will look to make it two in a row on the road as they have just one day of rest before visiting Old Dominion on Monday night. Tip off from Norfolk is set for 7 p.m.