CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Facing the nation's second-ranked scoring
defense, the George Mason men's basketball team fell to the University of
Virginia, 68-48, on Tuesday evening at John Paul Jones Arena. The loss snaps a
four-game winning streak for Mason (6-3), while the Cavaliers improved to 8-1.
Three Patriots recorded nine points to pace the
offense, with seniors Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison alongside sophomore
Sherrod Wright leading the way. Freshman Erik Copes pulled down a team-high six
rebounds to go with his seven points, while classmate Corey Edwards dished a
game-high four assists in his return to action following two games missed due
to injury. Sammy Zeglinski led a quartet of Cavalier players in double figures
as he scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers.
Keeping even with the Cavaliers through the first
four points each, the Patriots took their only lead of the contest when Pearson
hit a jumper at the 17:15 mark, making it 6-4. While Virginia took the
advantage, Wright buried a three just over five minutes in to cut it to an 11-9
margin. UVA answered with nine in a row, ended by a layup by Wright at the
Vaughns connected on two free throw attempts to
make it 20-13 with 9:33 left in the first half, but Mason was held to just one
field goal and a free throw over the next six-plus minutes as the Cavaliers
built a 17-point lead at 33-16. The Patriots kept UVA off the board for the
final four minutes of the half, as buckets by Wright, Copes and Pearson set the
halftime score of 33-22. It was just the second halftime deficit of the season
for the Patriots.
Wright led Mason with seven points while Copes
pulled down four rebounds in the first half, one which saw the Cavaliers
outshoot the Patriots, 59.1-to-42.9 percent from the field. Zeglinski paced the
UVA offense with 11 points.
The Patriots pulled within 10 points in the
second half, as Morrison's layup at the 9:41 mark made it 50-40. UVA pulled
away with an 11-3 run and the Patriots scored just two more field goals as they
fell to 0-7 all time against the Cavaliers.
Mason is back in action on the road Saturday,
playing their final game before breaking for semester exams at Radford. Tip off
from the Dedmon Center is set for 4 p.m.