Men’s Basketball Downs Towson, 85-73

Posted: February 14, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team traveled to Towson and took a 85-73 win over the Tigers.

The win was the 399th of Jim Larranaga’s head coaching career. He’ll go for 400 on Saturday as Mason hosts UNC Wilmington as part of Homecoming weekend.

Will Thomas set the school record for consecutive games started, his 94th straight start. He also passed Jai Lewis for sixth-place on the career rebounding list. He finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his CAA-leading 12th double-double of the year.

Folarin Campbell had a tremendous all-around game, finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

John Vaughan, who had scored in double figures in 15 straight games before going scoreless his last time out, rediscovered his stroke, scoring 19 points.

Dre Smith added 18 points, four rebounds and three assists as four players were in double figures for the 12th time this year.

Thomas scored seven of Mason’s first nine points but he and Towson’s Tony Durant were the only players who could find a shooting rhythm. The two teams combined to make just 11 of their first 28 shots, and after eight and a half minutes, the score stood at 11-11.

That’s when Mason went on a 19-2 run to take control of the game. The bench sparked things as Cam Long hit a three-pointer and Vlad Moldoveanu made a basket and a free throw. Two Campbell three-pointers and six points from Vaughan were key in putting Mason ahead by 17.

Later in the half, Smith hit a pair of three-pointers, and Moldoveanu drained one from behind the arc to make it 41-21 as the Patriots made seven straight three-pointers.

Mason took a 46-30 lead into the half as the Patriots shot 58.6 percent from the field and 8 of 13 from three-point range in the opening stanza. Towson shot just 37.9 percent.

The Patriots held a 19-11 rebounding margin, had 16 points off the fast break and despite the eight three-pointers, still managed 18 points in the paint.

The Tigers were able to trim the lead to six behind a 17-4 run. Over an eight-minute span, Mason managed just one field goal as Towson turned up the pressure defense to pull to within 57-51.

Smith ended the drought with a three-pointer, and Thomas followed with a basket inside off a beautiful entry pass from Campbell. Over the next few minutes, the Tigers twice cut the lead to eight, and both times Smith hit a three-pointer to push it back to double figures. Towson was unable to get as close the rest of the game.

Saturday’s game against UNCW tips at 6 p.m. and it will be broadcast on ESPNU. The game is already a sellout.

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