Men’s Basketball Team’s Winning Streak Halted by UNCW

Posted: January 28, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

John Vaughan
John Vaughan scored 19 points in Saturday’s game, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win for the Patriots.
Mason Athletics photo

The 11 members of the Mason men’s basketball team entered Trask Coliseum in Wilmington on Saturday night without a single combined win in the building that has come to haunt Mason over the past 11 years. That statistic did not change when the game came to a close with UNCW winning 61-58 over Mason, snapping Mason’s four-game winning streak.

The Seahawks used a 13-0 second-half run to take control of the game, and Mason, which had scored at least 80 points in each of its past four games, was held to fewer than 60 points for just the fourth time all season.

John Vaughan had 19 points, Folarin Campbell had 17 points and Will Thomas was held to a season-low six points. The fourth-leading scorer in the Colonial Athletic Association, he entered the game second in the conference in field-goal percentage, but he was just 3 of 9 from the field. He did have 14 rebounds, however.

The Patriots opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers from Campbell and Vaughan. After the Seahawks closed to 6-4, Campbell hit another trey to make it 9-4.

The game stayed close, however, and UNCW took its first lead on a Vladimir Kuljanin basket at the 14:30 mark.

After Chris Fleming gave the lead back to Mason, the game was temporarily halted when a light bulb fell from the ceiling, breaking under the Mason basket.

That seemed to cool off the Patriots. After making 5 of 7 from the field before the stop in action, the Patriots made just 2 of 9 over the next seven-plus minutes. That allowed the Seahawks to build a five-point lead.

But Mason got things going then as Vaughan hit a three-pointer, Vlad Moldoveanu made back-to-back baskets and a free throw, Vaughan hit a pull-up jumper in traffic and Dre Smith drained a three-pointer to make it a 13-0 run. Montez Downey’s three-pointer ended the run and left Mason ahead, 31-26. The Patriots were able to take a 35-30 lead into the half.

The Seahawks opened the second half with an 8-2 run to go up 38-37. Campbell answered with a basket in the post followed by a pair of free throws and a Vaughan jumper in the lane to put the Patriots back up by five. It was the first of three straight baskets by Vaughan as the Patriots went ahead 47-41 with 11:41 to play.

Out of a media timeout, Chad Tomko made a pair of three-pointers to tie the game. A Todd Hendley layup put the Seahawks back on top, and he scored on a short jumper the next time down to make it 51-47. A Kuljanin free throw and T.J. Carter pull-up jumper made it 54-47, giving UNCW its own 13-0 run.

Campbell’s basket in the post was followed by a Vaughan layup. Mason, after not scoring for nearly six minutes, had two baskets in 45 seconds to cut the lead to three, 54-51.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, were in the midst of their own offensive issues as they went more than four minutes without a point. That ended when Daniel Fountain hit a three-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire to put UNCW ahead 57-51 with 2:23 to play.

Mason will next take the court on Tuesday when the Patriots play VCU at Patriot Center at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on ESPN2.

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