Men’s Basketball Wins 60-53 in Season Opener

Posted: November 12, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team used a 19-4 second-half run to overcome a nine-point deficit, and Mason opened the 2007-08 season with a 60-53 win over Vermont.

Will Thomas had a career-high 17 rebounds, and he led Mason with 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting despite severe leg cramps that forced him to the bench repeatedly. But his every return to the court seemed to energize the 6,665 fans at the Patriot Center.

After an early 6-0 run to open the game, Mason’s offense sputtered as the Patriots went more than five minutes without a point. Vermont took a 17-15 lead before the Patriots closed the first half with a 9-2 run to take a 24-19 lead at the break. Thomas had a double-double in the half, the first time he’s done so in his career. He also had 11 rebounds at the break, also a career high for a half.

The Patriots were just 2 of 8 from the free throw line in the first half, and 0 of 9 from three-point range. While the Patriots were 15 of 18 from the free-throw line in the second half, the shooting from behind the arc did not improve, as the Patriots finished the game 1 of 17 from long range.

Vermont opened the second half strong, outscoring Mason 24-10 to start. The Patriots’ rally began with a John Vaughan basket inside. A basket in the paint and free throw by Vlad Moldoveanu was followed by a Dre Smith layup and a Thomas basket and free throw, putting the Patriots ahead 44-43. After Vermont retook the lead, Vaughan and Folarin Campbell drained back-to-back jumpers to put Mason ahead for good.

Campbell, Jordan Carter and Vaughan each had 11 points, while Moldoveanu played 25 minutes and had five points and nine rebounds in his collegiate debut. Vermont got a game-high 17 points from Marqus Blakely and 14 points from Mike Trimboli. But Trimboli, a consensus preseason All-America East player, shot just 5 of 23 from the field.

Thomas’ 17 rebounds were the most by a Patriot since Jai Lewis had 17 against Creighton in November of 2005. The 52 team rebounds were the most by the Patriots this century.

The Mason men’s basketball team starts its season with three home games. The upcoming games are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. vs. Cleveland State. The game can be seen on Cox Sports and heard on WTEM 980 AM.

  • Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. vs. Dayton. The game can be seen on Cox Sports and heard on WTNT 570 AM.

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