In their regular season finale with the No. 1 seed in
next week's Colonial Athletic Association Championship locked up, the George
Mason men's basketball team held off a feisty Georgia State squad for the
-straight win, 65-58, on Saturday evening at the GSU
Sports Arena. The Patriots closed out the regular season with a 25-5 record and
tied a league record with a 16-2 finish in conference play. GSU fell to 11-18
and 6-12 in the CAA following the loss.
points, all but three in the second half, to lead a trio of double-figure
Patriot scorers. Junior
registered 14 points on 7-of-9 field goal
showing while redshirt freshman
added 12 points. Josh Micheau
had 17 points while Jihad Ali contributed 10 to pace the Panthers, who will be
the ninth seed and face UNC Wilmington on Friday afternoon at noon. The winner
of that game will face the Patriots at noon Saturday afternoon.
Mason trailed twice in the
second half but pulled away down the stretch. Tied at 54 after a Micheaux layup
with 2:59 remaining, the Patriots rattled off six straight points and the
Panthers got no closer four in the final moments. It extended the nation's
longest winning streak to 15 straight games, and captured their 10th
road win improving upon a new record under head coach
The teams struggled from the
field in the opening minutes, combining to connect on just five of their first
20 shots. GSU led early at 4-0 but Morrison slammed home his first dunk of the
evening to give the Patriots the lead at the 15:17 mark, 5-4. Keeping within a
possession for the next five minutes, the Patriots used a 10-2 run to open up
their largest lead of the half at 20-12.
GSU scored a 9-2 run of their own to
make it 22-21, and the score was knotted up at 24 on a 3-pointer by Javonte
Maynor with 3:27 to go in the half. Mason closed out the period with seven of
the next nine points and went into the halftime locker room leading 31-26.
Vaughns was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field, all
behind the arc, in the opening half and scored 12 to lead all scorers, while
Morrison added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.