Patriots Knocked Out of CAA Tournament

Posted: March 6, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Third-seeded Hofstra University outscored the second-seeded George Mason men’s basketball team in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament Sunday night, downing Mason 58-49.

Mason was holding a four-point lead when the game turned in Hofstra’s favor. Mason’s Jordan Carter was called for a blocking foul on a drive by Loren Stokes when Hofstra’s guard could easily have been called for a charge. The call went Hofstra’s way, as did the bucket. Stokes made the foul shot, making it 40-39.

After Pride player Adrian Uter blocked a Jai Lewis shot, his teammate Carlos Rivera drove the floor and he, too, made a layup and was fouled. He converted the free throw and Hofstra had its first lead of the night, a lead the Pride would not relinquish.

The closest Mason got during the final few minutes was when Will Thomas scored inside off an offensive rebound with 5:20 to play, making it 46-44. Mason got to within four on a Tony Skinn three-pointer with one minute to go but Hofstra made five of eight free throws in the final minute while Maosn was 0 for 4 from the field.

Will Thomas led Mason with 17 points and six rebounds on 7 of 12 shooting. Skinn added 10 points, while Lewis had nine points and seven rebounds. Hofstra’s Rivera led all scorers, pouring in 25, along with 10 rebounds. Stokes had 20 points, while Antoine Agudio, who scored a tournament-record 34 on Saturday, was held to 5 points.

In the first half, the Patriots were a different team than the one that needed overtime to dispatch 10th-seeded Georgia State on Saturday. The Patriots jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed in the half. Mason got balance both inside and out as Will Thomas had 10 first-half points and Lamar Butler, Gabe Norwood and Tony Skinn all had three-pointers.

The Patriots were able to build a 10-point lead as Butler drained back-to-back three-pointers, the second from nearly 25 feet out, and Jai Lewis added a bucket and Norwood converted a pair of free throws. However, down 24-14, Hofstra rallied. The Pride got a three-pointer and a runner from Stokes and a three-pointer from Carlos Rivera, pulling to within four. Norwood countered with a three-pointer with 3:11 to go in the half, and Mason was once again ahead by seven. At the half, the Patriots led 33-27.

Mason will now wait for Sunday to find out their postseason future. The Patriots won a school-record 23 games and have an RPI in the top 25 in the nation.

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