Nov. 19, 2010
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The George Mason men's basketball team hung with the North Carolina State Wolfpack deep into the second half, but could not counter a late run as the Patriots fell to N.C. State, 78-65, on Friday night at Carolina First Arena. With the loss, the Patriots (2-1) move on to play Wofford in the ESPN Charleston Classic consolation game on Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
Senior Cam Long led the Mason scoring with 16 points, his highest total of the season to date. Luke Hancock and Ryan Pearson joined him in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. N.C. State (3-0) was led by 14 points from Ryan Harrow and will next face Georgetown Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. in the tournament championship game.
The Wolfpack struck first with the opening three points of the game, and holding the Patriots to just two Hancock free throws in the opening three minutes led early, 6-2. Scott Wood's second 3-pointer pushed the score to 9-4, a five-point margin that would stand as their largest lead early on. Pearson accounted for five points on a pair from the stripe and a trey, the 15th of his career, to tie the score at 11 with 14:37 left in the first half.
Mason's first lead came as Allen answered a NC State bucket with a 3-pointer, the first of his career, making the score 14-13. An 8-0 run by the Wolfpack, though, returned the lead to N.C. State, ended by an Allen three-point play at the 11:51 mark.
Long tied the game back up at 25 with a pair of free throws at the 8:23 mark, and a fourth-chance scoring opportunity by Hancock resulted in a 3-point play which set the Mason lead at 28-25. Wood's trey tied the score immediately thereafter, sparking a 13-0 run which was ended by Arledge's two free throws at the 4:33 mark.
The 10-point differential proved to be the largest Wolfpack lead of the half, as the Patriots cut it to 45-38 at the intermission. Long had 11 of his points in the opening half, one in which the Patriots were out-shot from the field by a 54.8-to-35.5 percent margin.
Mason's 10-0 run out of the locker room brought the game to within one score at 48-45 with just under four minutes expired in the half. The spree continued as the Patriots tied the score at 50 after Pearson's three-point play. Mason retook the lead at 56-55 on a uncontested layup by Hancock with 11:28 left in the game.
A 12-0 run by the Wolfpack got their lead into double-digits once again, holding Mason without a field goal for more than four minutes. From there, the Patriots could not counter as the Wolfpack held on for the win.
Sunday's game against the Terriers is set for a 5:30 p.m. tip from the Palmetto State, Mason's final road contest before opening up a five-game homestand.