FAIRFAX, Va. - Fueled by a 10-0 run including a 90-second scoring spree,
the George Mason men’s basketball team pulled away from James Madison in the
second half, earning a 68-57 Colonial Athletic Association victory on Tuesday
night. Mason improved to 3-2 in CAA play and 10-7 overall, while the Dukes
dropped to 9-9 (3-2 CAA).
Sherrod Wright scored 23 points, including a career-high 12
free throws, to pace the Patriot offense. Joining him in double digits was
freshman Marko Gujanicic, who posted his first career double-double with 10
points and 10 rebounds. He led an effort off the glass which out-rebounded the
Dukes 48-29. Rayshawn Goins had 13 points while Ron Curry added 11 to lead the
A one-possession game for the first half of the opening stanza,
JMU opened a 16-12 lead before baskets by Anali Okoloji and Wright tied the
score. Five in a row came next for JMU, who would lead by as many as nine
behind a 8-2 run, ending with a Taylor Bessick jumper at the 3:55 mark which
left the score 31-22. Mason would close within five in the waning minutes, with
the final scoring coming on Wright’s jumper in the paint which set the halftime
score of 33-28 in favor of the Dukes.
JMU would maintain its lead in the opening eight minutes of
the second half, before a Bryon Allen three-point play tied the score at
43-all. Trailing 50-49, Mason put together a frenzied 8-0 run in just 90
seconds to take a 57-50 lead, part of an eventual 10 unanswered points ending
with a pair of Vertrail Vaughns free throws at the 5:03 mark.
Goins’ layup with 2:18 remaining pulled the Dukes within
five at 62-57, but the Patriots closed out the victory with six in a row to
secure the win, their eighth straight over the Dukes.
Mason will host Hofstra in its next action, coming Saturday
at 5 p.m. at the Patriot Center.