Patriots Take 62-60 Win at Radford

Posted: December 7, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason men’s basketball team (4-3) played from behind for nearly the entire game but finally took a lead for good with 3:17 to play at Radford University. The Patriots survived the Highlanders’ best shot to escape with a 62-60 win.

Mason got 58 of its points from the trio of Folarin Campbell, Will Thomas and John Vaughan. Campbell and Vaughan each scored 21 points, while Thomas had 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting and 10 rebounds. Dre Smith added Mason’s first three points and Jesus Urbina added the final point.

Mason shot just 37 percent from the field but won the game on the offensive boards and at the free throw line. Mason was 15 of 19 from the line in the second half while Radford (4-6) was 2 of 3. In the first half, Radford was 8 of 8 from the line while Mason did not have an attempt. The Patriots had a 41-29 edge on the boards and 19 of Mason’s rebounds were on the offensive end.

The Patriots didn’t fall behind early, a pattern that had developed with some consistency over the first six games. Instead, Mason was able to trade baskets with Radford. The game was tied 11-11 after eight minutes.

The game remained close until just over nine minutes to play in the half. That’s when Radford, facing a one-point deficit, went on a 16-3 run to build a 12-point lead just before the half. Mason made it a 10-point game at the break with a tip-in from Thomas. The difference in the first 20 minutes was Radford’s production at the fee throw line.

The second half saw Mason come out with more intensity. The Patriots got four points from Campbell, followed by four from Thomas. A 3-pointer from John Vaughan followed and Mason trailed 38-33. Campbell went to the line and sank a pair to cut the lead to 38-35. But Radford didn’t wither.

The Highlanders responded with a 5-0 run behind a jumper in the paint from Chris Oliver and 3-pointer from Martell McDuffy that gave Radford a 45-37 cushion and prompted a Mason timeout. It was several minutes before Mason was able to chip into the lead and the eight-point Highlander edge became a two-point lead after Mason went 6 of 6 from the foul line. That led to a Radford timeout with the home team holding a 49-47 edge.

Chris Oliver scored a putback out of the timeout and Radford was again up four. The teams traded 3-pointers with Mason pulling to within one before going down four again. The Patriots tied the score finally on a Thomas putback and Vaughan layup and took the lead at the 3:17 mark on a Vaughan 3-pointer from the right corner. From there, Mason was ale to make 5 of 6 free throws while not allowing a Radford field goal in the final 2:20.

Mason returns to action on Saturday when the Patriots play a nationally-televised game against Duke University on ESPN at noon. It will mark the Patriots’ first trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium in more than 20 years.

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