Men’s Basketball Wins CAA Opener

Posted: December 9, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Mason men’s basketball team beat Drexel, 56-55, for a road win on Dec. 6 in its Colonial Athletic Association opener. Mason is now 6-2, 1-0 while Drexel is 2-2, 0-1.

After going ahead 44-27 with 15 minutes to play, Mason saw the Dragons pull to within two at 48-46 with 6:15 to play.

Mason got baskets inside from Louis Birdsong and Ryan Pearson to go back up by six. Mason led 55-48 with 47 seconds to play before Drexel’s Evan Neisler scored inside and was fouled, converting the free throw to make it 55-51.

The Dragons stole the ball on the inbounds, and another basket inside made it 55-53 with 16.6 to go in regulation. After Birdsong made one of two free throws, Drexel’s Scott Rodgers came down the court and took the ball to the basket.

Darryl Monroe was whistled for an intentional foul with 2:9 to go, and Rodgers made both free throws. The Dragons retained possession, but Neisler missed the potential game winner.

For the first time all season Mason was outrebounded, 41-26, but the Patriots shot significantly better than Drexel. The Patriots shot 42.3 percent, while Drexel was held to 35.1 percent shooting. The Dragons turned the ball over 14 times, while Mason committed just eight turnovers.

No Mason player scored in double figures, but six players scored six or more points as Mason continued to have balance on the offensive end.

John Vaughan scored all nine of his points in the second half. Monroe, meanwhile, also scored nine points while leading Mason with five rebounds and five assists.

Evan Neisler had nine points to lead the Dragons.

The Patriots take a nearly two-week break from action as the student-athletes prepare for finals.

Mason will return to the court on Dec. 19 when the team hosts Radford at Patriot Center at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on MASN and broadcast on WTNT 570.

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