Patriots Win at Delaware; Ready for Homecoming Match vs. Kent State

Posted: February 16, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The George Mason men’s basketball team returned to .500 in Colonial Athletic Association action as the Patriots took a 66-46 win over the University of Delaware at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark on Wednesday night.

Mason made 48.1 percent of its shots while holding the Blue Hens to less than 35 percent shooting.

Mason (14-12, 8-8) used a pair of first-half runs to take control of the contest and put Delaware away with a 22-7 run to open the second half. Dre Smith had 13 points, 10 in the second half, while Will Thomas had 14 points and nine rebounds. John Vaughan added 10 for the Patriots, while Gabe Norwood had a season-high nine. Herb Courtney led Delaware (5-22, 3-13) with 19 points, while Sam McMahon had 16.

Trailing 11-10 with 12 and a half minutes remaining in the first half, Mason got two baskets from Thomas, a Vaughan dunk and a Norwood jumper to go ahead 18-11. After a 6-1 Delaware run, Mason scored 11 unanswered points to take a 30-14 lead.

Jordan Carter and Vaughan each hit jumpers, Thomas scored on back-to-back possessions and Tim Burns capped the run with a three-pointer. The Blue Hens scored the final four points of the half to make it a 30-20 Mason lead.

Smith was the driving influence behind the second-half run. After the Blue Hens opened the half with a basket, Smith hit a jumper to make it 32-22. Thomas followed with a basket, Campbell had a free throw and Smith scored on a backdoor cut for a 37-22 lead.

After Sam McMahon made a pair of free throws, Smith hit back-to-back three-pointers and Thomas scored inside for a 45-24 lead. McMahon’s three-pointer temporarily stopped the run, but Louis Birdsong and Vaughan each had baskets and Burns drained a three-pointer to make it 52-27.

Next up for Mason is the Homecoming game. The Patriots will take on Kent State University on Saturday at 4 p.m. That game is part of ESPN’s BracketBusters, and the contest will be broadcast on ESPN360, ESPN’s broadband service.

The first 1,000 fans at the Patriot Center will receive Coach L statues.

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