Mason Edges Drexel 60-54 To Reach CAA Semifinals
RICHMOND, Va. - Fourth-seeded George Mason hit four free throws in the final 15 seconds to secure a 60-54 victory over fifth-seeded Drexel in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championship, presented by Jani-King, at the Richmond Coliseum.
The Patriots (18-13) advance to meet top-seeded Northeastern (19-11) in the semifinals on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Dragons finish their season at 13-18.
Sophomore guard Damion Lee nailed a three-pointer with 1:20 remaining to pull Drexel within two at 56-54. Mason missed a trey with 45 seconds to give the Dragons a chance to tie or take the lead. Junior Frantz Massenat was off target from behind the arc with 17 seconds left. Junior Sherrod Wright sank two free throws to give the Patriots a 58-54 lead with 15 seconds remaining. Derrick Thomas missed a triple for Drexel with seven seconds left. Jonathan Arledge grabbed the rebound and hit a pair of foul shots to complete the scoring.
Mason shot 71% from the free throw line during the season, but hit 20 of 22 (90.9%) in the contest. The Patriots nailed 17 of 19 from the charity stripe in the second half, including their final 11.
Wright led all scorers with 23 points, hitting six field goals and making 11 of 12 free throws. It was his team-leading 13th 20-point effort of the year. Junior Bryon Allen contributed 16 points, one away from his career high, and also made six steals. Junior Vertrail Vaughns had 10 points off the bench for the Patriots.
Massenat led the Dragons with 20 points, while Lee added 11. Senior Daryl McCoy was the top rebounder with 12, as Drexel won the battle of the boards 33-28.
Drexel trailed by as many as 15 in the second half (44-29 with 11:30 left) before making it a one-score contest.
Mason led 28-27 early in the second half before Wright scored six straight points in a 13-0 run as the Patriots built a 14-point margin with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.
Mason used a 5-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 27-23 lead at intermission. Wright converted a three-point play with 1:16 left and Allen made a spinning layup with 45 seconds left as the Patriots took a four-point lead at the break.COVERITLIVE IN-GAME BLOG RECAP