Men’s Basketball Creates Drama in Season-Opener Win

Posted: November 9, 2013 at 7:36 am, Last Updated: November 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

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By Mason Athletics

men's basketball

Senior Sherrod Wright fights for possession in Mason’s home opener against American. Mason Athletics photo

The George Mason University men’s basketball team closed the game on an 11-3 run to seal a 63-60 victory over visiting American in the season-opener of the 2013-14 season Friday night in the Patriot Center. Bryon Allen led all scorers with 20 points in the contest.

Trailing by five points, 57-52, with 4:15 left to play in the contest, redshirt freshman Jalen Jenkins connected on the back end of a pair of free throws out of the final media timeout to spark an 11-0 Mason run. Allen hit a layup at the 3:32 mark and converted the old-fashioned three-point play to cut the score to one point, 57-56. Strong Patriot defense forced an American turnover to follow, returning possession to the Patriots as Sherrod Wright converted the steal to give Mason the 58-57 advantage.

Allen and Wright combined with a pair of jumpers over the next two minutes to give the Patriots a five-point edge heading into the final 25 seconds. Mason closed out the contest with a free throw from Wright as American’s Darius Gardner drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final score.

Mason overcame a 15-point deficit in the first half to take the 41st meeting between the two squads. American raced out of the gate, opening a double-digit lead within the first five minutes of the first half. Jesse Reed connected on a trey at 13:26 to give the Eagles their largest lead of the contest at 21-6, as Mason finished the half slowly chipping away at its deficit. Patrick Holloway tied the game with just 2:05 left in the period, hitting a triple to knot the score at 35-35. American regained the slight advantage on a layup from Kyle Kager before Jenkins and Wright handed the Patriots a 38-37 lead going into halftime.

Allen, who hit nine free throws, was one of three Patriots in double-figures on the night as Wright and Marko Gujanicic each contributed 13 points. Gujanicic led Mason off the bench which outscored the Eagles, 22-7. Reed paced the AU offense with 15 points, followed by Gardner with 14. Mason won the rebounding battle, 34-27, led by Wright and Gujanicic with six and five boards, respectively.

Follow all the Patriots action at GoMason.com.

Write to Robin Herron at rherron@gmu.edu

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