Men’s Basketball Falls, 70-59, at Northeastern

Posted: March 3, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team closed out the 2007-08 regular season on Saturday with a 70-59 loss to the Huskies.

Northeastern used a 16-0 first-half run to take control of the contest, and they survived a big second-half push by Mason that pulled the Patriots to within two on several occasions.

Mason’s Will Thomas passed Lamar Butler for 10th place on the school’s all-time scoring list and he surpassed 950 rebounds for his career. He finished with 15 points and eight rebounds while breaking the school record for games played.

Folarin Campbell led Mason with 23 points, while John Vaughan had nine points while tying his career high with six assists.

Matt Janning had 27 points, six rebounds and six assists for Northeastern, while Manny Adako finished with 18.

Mason held an early 11-8 lead but that’s when the wheels came off for the Patriots. Over the final 13:41 of the first half, Mason managed just three field goals and seven points.

Northeastern used a 16-0 run to take control of the game and outscored Mason 22-7 down the stretch to go into the half with a 30-18 lead. The 18 first-half points were a season low for Mason. The Patriots shot the ball poorly in the half, but Northeastern’s 20-11 rebounding edge also proved critical. Mason allowed nine offensive rebounds while going just 0 for 4 from the free throw line.

It was a completely different team from the start in the second half. Campbell scored 10 of Mason’s first 12 points in the half, and the Patriots cut the lead to 37-30. Mason was able to get to within six several times, but Northeastern pushed it back to double figures at 47-37.

Facing the double-digit deficit, the Patriots were able to get out on the break and trim it significantly. Isaiah Tate, seeing his most significant playing time of the season, scored four points. John Vaughan added baskets on back-to-back possessions, the second off a nice pass from Tate, to cut it to 50-46. A pair of Campbell free throws with 6:24 to play cut the lead to two.

With the Patriots down 54-52, Northeastern was finally able to get a bit of a cushion as Janning hit a three-pointer to make it 57-52. After a Vaughan drive made it 57-54, the Huskies got back-to-back baskets inside from Adako to make it 61-54 with a little more than two minutes remaining.

Mason will return to action on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament in Richmond. Mason will play at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of Friday night’s game between Northeastern and James Madison.

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