Men’s Basketball Falls to Kent State, 73-55

Posted: December 10, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team played its first road game of the season on Saturday at Kent State, and things did not go well.

Mason had a terrific first half shooting the ball but couldn’t maintain possession. In the second half, the problem was reversed. In the end, it added up to a 73-55 loss to Kent State.

Mason (7-3) was led by John Vaughan’s 17 points. Will Thomas added 12, but the senior, who entered the game averaging 10.9 rebounds per game, was held to just two boards. Louis Birdsong was Mason’s leading rebounder with seven. Al Fisher led Kent State (8-2) with 17 points, while Haminn Quaintance had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The first half saw Mason in control early, taking five-point leads on more than one occasion. Mason’s first four baskets came from four different players. Seven Mason players scored in the half. But things slipped Kent State’s way with Mason ahead 20-18.

The Golden Flashes went on a 9-0 run at that point, taking a 27-20 lead. The Patriots responded with a 7-0 run to tie the score at 27-27 as Vlad Moldoveanu hit a jumper from the high post, Folarin Campbell drained a three-pointer and Thomas made a pair of free throws.

The Golden Flashes were able to close out the half with an 11-5 run to take a six-point halftime lead. Mike McKee had five points in that stretch, including a long three-pointer.

The Patriots outshot Kent State in the first half, 66.7 percent to 51.9 percent. The Patriots also outrebounded the Golden Flashes, 13-9. But Mason committed eight turnovers to just one by Kent State, giving the Golden Flashes nine more shot attempts.

Despite a turnover on its first possession of the second half, Mason got on the board first off a Vaughan three-pointer. But Kent State came back with a 25-8 to put Mason in a 20-point hole with 7:00 to play. That’s when Thomas drew a charge and ignited the Patriots.

Mason went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 12 as Dre Smith and Vaughan each had three-pointers in the stretch. But Kent State made its free throws in the final five minutes and Mason could never get the deficit into single digits.

Mason will break for nearly two weeks for finals before retaking the court on Dec. 21 at Florida International.

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