Men’s Basketball Wins Over William & Mary, 60-54

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

The Mason men’s basketball team had more to celebrate than a hard-fought 60-54 win over William and Mary last night.

With the victory, Mason clinched a first-round bye in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, which begins on March 7.

The Patriots also took over sole possession of second place in the conference with one game remaining. Finally, Mason earned the eighth 20-win season in school history and third under head coach Jim Larranaga.

Mason got 17 points and six rebounds from Folarin Campbell; 15 points, including a clutch three-pointer, from John Vaughan in the final four minutes; 12 points from Cam Long; and 10 points and eight rebounds from Will Thomas.

William and Mary was led by David Schneider’s 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.

With a crowd of 5,801 last night at the Patriot Center, Mason surpassed the 90,000 mark for attendance, in the process setting a school record for total attendance in a season.

Mason was held to a season-low 28 shot attempts but shot 50 percent form the field and was 16 of 24 from the line. William and Mary shot 39.6 percent and was just four of six from the line. Mason also held a 30-28 rebounding edge, but William and Mary had 10 offensive boards and forced 17 Mason turnovers.

Mason jumped out to a quick 10-3 lead as John Vaughan hit a pair of three-pointers and two free throws. But William and Mary rallied behind David Schneider. The sophomore All-CAA candidate scored eight of the Tribe’s first 12 points as they closed to within two, 14-12.

While the Mason offense became stagnant, the Tribe continued to chip away, twice tying the game before finally taking the lead, 26-23 on a Laimis Kisielius three-pointer. They held a four points edge 1:36 before the half, but a Vaughan layup and a Cam Long three-pointer with 27 seconds to play gave Mason the lead before the half expired.

At the break, Mason had a better shooting percentage, 52.6 to 47.8, but William and Mary had committed just four turnovers while Mason committed eight. Schneider had 11 points and three assists at the halfway mark; Vaughan had 12 points and two rebounds.

Mason led for nearly all of the second half, but Nathan Mann’s three-pointer, his only one in 10 attempts, gave the Tribe a 50-49 lead. The Patriots responded with an 8-0 run that included Vaughan’s three-pointer and an emphatic dunk by Campbell with 1:49 to go that made it 57-50.

Mason will close out the regular season on Saturday when the Patriots travel to Northeastern for a 2 p.m. contest. That game will be televised on Comcast.

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