Patriots’ Sharp Shooting Leads to Exhibition Win

Posted: November 8, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Will Thomas dunks
Will Thomas was 8 of 9 from the field against St. Francis Xavier in Sunday’s exhibition game.
Mason Athletics photo

The George Mason men’s basketball team played its lone exhibition game of the season on Sunday afternoon at the Patriot Center, and Mason looked more than ready for the 2005-06 season to get under way.

The Patriots shot 63 percent from the field in downing St. Francis Xavier University, 99-70. Sophomore Will Thomas, undeclared major, and senior Jai Lewis, sport management major, combined to shoot 17 of 23 from the field with 39 points in 48 total minutes.

St. Francis Xavier, a Division II school from Nova Scotia, Canada, had no answer for Thomas and Lewis on the inside, as Mason scored 32 of its 55 first-half points on the inside. After shooting 70 percent in the first half, Mason cooled off some in the second, but still managed to shoot better than 56 percent from the field.

The Patriots played exceptionally on the defensive end as well, as Mason limited the X-Men to 42.2 percent shooting in the game, harassed St. Francis Xavier into 28 turnovers and recorded 14 steals in the process. Mason also did an excellent job passing the ball, as the Patriots tallied 25 assists to St. Francis Xavier’s 10.

Lewis finished with a game-high 21 points while Thomas had 18 points and five rebounds. Senior Lamar Butler, communication major, who got into early foul trouble, had 14 points in 16 minutes while senior Tony Skinn, communication major, had 13 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Folarin Campbell, undeclared major, was the other player in the starting lineup for Mason, and he had 12 points and four assists. Freshmen Chris Fleming and Sammy Hernandez each played extensive minutes, with Fleming scoring 6 points while Hernandez had 5 points and five rebounds. Junior Gabe Norwood, communication major, added 4 points, three rebounds and four assists with two steals.

Mason will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on the University of California-Irvine in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, hosted by Wake Forest University. Mason plays on Thursday at 5 p.m., with the winner taking on the Wake Forest-Mississippi Valley State winner on Friday.

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