Patriots Leap Past Towson Tigers, 72-63

Posted: January 7, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team was able to survive a 43-27 run by Towson thanks to an early 13-point lead and a 21-8 run. The Patriots closed the game, 72-63, at the Patriot Center.

Mason became the first Colonial Athletic Association team to achieve 10 overall wins this year. Mason improved to 10-4, 2-1. Towson fell to 5-8, 1-2.

The Patriots allowed Towson to go 12 of 26 from three-point range, but with big advantages at the free throw line and rebounding, particularly on the offensive end, Mason was able to survive the long-range artillery.

Mason outrebounded Towson 39-25, and the Patriots had 12 offensive boards. Towson was 7 of 9 from the free throw line while the Patriots were 17 of 23.

Junior Hairston had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Towson, but Will Thomas countered with 20 points and 14 rebounds on 8 of 12 shooting for Mason.

Josh Thornton had 20 points for Towson, going 6 of 12 from three-point range, but Mason’s John Vaughan had 19 points and six rebounds, including an 8 of 10 effort from the free throw line.

Dre Smith had 14 points and Folarin Campbell had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, rounding out the teammates who scored in double figures for Mason. No other Towson player reached double figures.

With the score tied early at 6-6, Mason went on a 19-6 run behind a balanced inside-outside game. Jordan Carter, who had missed the previous three games with a foot injury, made a big three-pointer to help spark the run. He finished with six points and two assists off the bench.

Trailing 25-12 with 4:14 to go in the first half, the Tigers closed the period with a 12-5 run. Towson then opened the second half with a 31-21 run to go ahead 55-51 with 7:14 to play.

The Patriots responded with a 7-0 run, as Vaughan made a free throw, Smith drained a jumper and Vaughan scored on a fastbreak layup off a feed from Campbell. Vaughan was fouled on the play and he converted the free throw.

Campbell later made one of two free throws to make it 58-55 with 4:30 to play. After Hairston scored on a traditional three-point play, Mason went on an 8-0 run.

Thomas scored inside and converted a free throw; then he scored off an offensive rebound on the next possession. Vaughan followed with a basket and free throw in the lane to make it 66-58 with 1:12 to play. From there the Patriots made 6 of 8 free throws to end any Towson hopes.

Mason is now 11-0 all-time against Towson in CAA play. Mason next plays on Wednesday at Delaware at 7 p.m.

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