Men’s Basketball Team Loses to Monarchs, 66-56, in Overtime

Posted: February 5, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason men’s basketball team led for the final 38 minutes, 15 seconds of regulation, but a three-pointer by Arnaud Dahi sent the contest to overtime and Old Dominion University outscored Mason 10-0 in the extra period, beating Mason 66-56 in front of a record-tying 9,804 fans at the Patriot Center.

It’s the first time since 1997-98 that Old Dominion has swept the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season series and just the second time in nine years that the Monarchs have won in Fairfax. The Patriots managed just two field goals in the final 6:53 of regulation and none in the extra period.

Mason’s Darryl Monroe had his first career double-double, setting career highs with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Folarin Campbell tied a career-high with 23 points, and Will Thomas added a season-high 11 rebounds. Arnaud Dahi had 25 points for Old Dominion, while Drew Williamson added 15.

The Patriots (13-10, 7-6) used a 9-2 run early in the second half to build an eight-point lead but Old Dominion (17-7, 10-3) scrapped back, repeatedly making it a one-possession game.

With 3:38 to play, Mason held a slim 49-48 edge when Campbell sank a pair of free throws. Old Dominion came back down, missed a three-pointer, got an offensive rebound, missed another three-pointer, got a quick steal but turned the ball over. The Patriots came back with a Monroe free throw to make it 52-48.

Valdas Vasylius missed the front end of a one-and-one on Old Dominion’s next possession, and the Patriots added to the lead on a Campbell layup. Out of a timeout, Abdi Lidonde drained a three-pointer for the Monarchs, once again making it a one-possession game. After a Mason miss, Old Dominion came down the court and got an 18-footer from Drew Williamson to make it 54-53 with 41 seconds to go.

Campbell milked the shot clock, driving the lane and pulling up in traffic for a three-point Mason lead. The Monarchs rushed down the court and Williamson missed a three-pointer, but the long rebound went to Dahi, who sank his three-point shot as the horn sounded, sending the game to overtime.

Brian Johnson scored the first points of overtime on a three-pointer with three minutes to go, and he added another bucket less than a minute later for a 61-56 Old Dominion lead. Williamson added a pair of free throws and Dahi had a basket and free throw for a 10-point edge.

The game was close nearly the entire way. Mason opened the game with a 12-3 run as Campbell scored six and Thomas had four. Old Dominion closed to 12-10 before Mason got back-to-back three-pointers from Campbell and Dre Smith.

Mason slowly built up the cushion, taking a 24-14 lead with just under seven minutes to go in the half. That’s when Old Dominion turned up the defense, closing the half with a 10-4 run that made it 28-24 at the break.

Half of the Monarch’s points in the first half came from Dahi, who was 6 of 9 from the field with four rebounds. Campbell had nine points at the break, Thomas had seven rebounds and Monroe had eight points.

The Patriots, having played 12 games in 32 days and five in the past 11, will have five days off until taking the court again.

Mason will play at CAA leader Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday at 7 p.m. That game will be broadcast on ESPNU. It will be the second meeting between the two teams in 16 days. The Rams beat Mason, 75-62, at the Patriot Center on Jan. 24.

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