Patriots Demolish American at BB&T Classic

Posted: December 7, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason men’s basketball team took on American University at the MCI Center on Monday evening in the 11th annual BB&T Classic and downed their opponents, 75-35. Mason set several tournament records while having its most dominant performance in nearly five years.

The Patriots set tournament records for largest margin of victory and fewest points allowed as Mason scored the game’s first 16 points and built a 29-3 lead en route to its third straight win. Mason had more points in the first four minutes than American did in the first 26 minutes. The Patriots made more three-pointers in the first half, 7, than American did field goals, five, and Mason finished the game with as many three-pointers, 14, as American did field goals.

Senior Lamar Butler, communication major, had a game-high 23 points. Senior Tony Skinn, communication major, was five of six from three-point range in the first half when he scored all of his 15 points. Sophomore Folarin Campbell, undeclared major, had a game-high four assists and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. Sophomore Will Thomas, undeclared major, added seven rebounds, while senior Jai Lewis, sport management major, had 8 points and five rebounds. For the third straight game, Mason did an excellent job passing the ball, as the Patriots tallied 19 assists. Mason also had season-highs with seven blocks and 12 steals and turned in its best opponent field-goal percentage, holding the Eagles to .226 shooting.

The second half saw the bench play the final 7:44 minutes and increase the Mason lead during that time. Junior Tim Burns, journalism major, had a season-high 8 points, and freshman Sammy Hernandez, business management major, scored 4 points. Freshman Chris Fleming, marketing major, junior Charles Makings, decision sciences and management information systems major, and sophomore Jordan Carter, undeclared major, each had 2 points. Only junior Makan Konate, global affairs major, and junior Gabe Norwood, communication major, failed to score, but Norwood contributed with four assists, five rebounds, one block and three steals.

The 40-point win was Mason’s largest margin of victory since a 104-62 win over East Carolina on January 27, 2001.

The Patriots’ ability to play the bench for so many minutes could prove critical as Mason travels to Norfolk on Dec. 7 to take on defending Colonial Athletic Association champion Old Dominion University. Game time for that contest is 7 p.m.

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