WILMINGTON, N.C. - The George Mason men's basketball team could not stop a late
charge by the UNCW Seahawks as the Patriots dropped a 82-74 Colonial Athletic
Association decision on Saturday afternoon at Trask Coliseum. With the loss,
the Patriots (9-7, 2-2 CAA) fall back to .500 in conference play, while the
Seahawks improved to 1-3 in conference and 6-10 overall.
Redshirt junior Sherrod Wright led the Patriots with 25
points and six rebounds, while freshman Patrick Holloway added 11 points and
junior Johnny Williams matched Wright off the glass with six boards. UNCW
controlled the rebounding battle, though, by a 51-27 margin including a 21-6
advantage in offensive boards. Chris Dixon scored 30 points to lead the way for
the Seahawks while Tyree Graham added 15 and Keith Rendleman had 11 points
along with 13 rebounds.
Mason jumped out to an early 5-0 lead behind a Williams
layup and a Wright 3-pointer, but the Seahawks countered with a run of their
own. Trailing 8-4, UNCW scored a 17-4 stretch over four and a half minutes,
pushing their lead to 21-12 at the 11:22 mark.
It would be their largest lead of the period, as the
Patriots would chip away for the remainder of the half. A Holloway jumper with
2:17 to go cut the margin to 1 at 34-33, before Craig Ponder hit two free
throws and Vertrail Vaughns sank the front end of a pair from the stripe, setting
the halftime score of 36-34.
Wright led the Patriots with 10 points in the half, while
Dixon had 11 to pace the Seahawk offense, which shot 37 percent compared to a
46 percent mark for the Patriots but won the rebounding battle, 24-13 and had
14 second chance points.
The Patriots exploded out of the locker room, scoring nine
in a row to retake the lead. Mason would to on to lead by as many as nine at
50-41 with six minutes expired after the Paris Bennett layup plus the bonus.
UNCW responded this time with a 9-0 run of its own, tying the score on a Dixon
jumper. Mason would continue to lead, holding the advantage until a 6-0 run by
the Seahawks put the hosts up, 65-64.
Corey Edwards tied the score at 65 hitting one of two from
the line at the 5:55 mark, but the Seahawks took control with a 8-2 run that
pushed their lead to six, taking just 90 seconds to do so. A dunk by Williams
cut the margin to one-possession at 75-72 with 2:14 remaining, but the Seahawks
pushed it back out after both Ponder and Rendleman hit both their free throw
attempts. UNCW would salt the game away in the final two seconds with three
Mason will return home for its next contest, hosting James
Madison on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Fairfax.