Second Half Surge Lifts Mason Over Monarchs, 71-55
By ODU Athletics
Jan. 2, 2010
FAIRFAX, Va. -- The non-conference slate is over and the Old Dominion men's basketball team went full throttle into the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) portion of its schedule on Saturday in the first of four games on the week with the Monarchs falling 71-55 to George Mason behind a strong second half surge by the Patriots.
Trailing by only three at the half, 31-28, the Patriots used a 25-6 run in the second half and shot a sizzling 57 percent in half number two to improve to 7-6 on the year in 2-0 in the league. The Monarchs meanwhile have their three-game win streak halted and fall to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in CAA action.
It was back-and-forth throughout the first half for both squads. Mason opened the game with a 6-0 lead and was ahead 10-4 with five minutes into the contest, but the roles were reversed midway through. A Marsharee Neely (Greensboro, N.C.) fast break put the Monarchs up 23-19 with 6:41 left in the half.
Over the final five minute stretch of the opening half, the game was tied up on three occasions until Mason's Luke Hancock launched a last second three from the left corner. The ball hit the rim, found the lucky bounce up and in to put Mason ahead, 31-28, at the intermission.
The Monarchs saw its final lead of the afternoon at the 15 minute mark with a Frank Hassell (Chesapeake, Va.) hook shot in the paint to put ODU up 41-40. From there, however, the Patriots took off on its 25-6 run, which included holding the Monarchs scoreless for a four-minute stretch. During the ODU drought, Mason went up by double figures for the rest of the game.
Gerald Lee (Uusikaupunki, Finland) was the lone Monarch in double figures. Going 7- of-12 from the field, the senior center poured in 17 points. For Mason, Ryan Pearson led the way with 17 points followed by Mike Morrison with 15.
The Patriots won the battle of the boards, 38-30 with Keyon Carter (Riviera Beach, Va.) hauling in six to lead the Monarchs. Mason is only the second team to outrebound ODU this year. The other was Delaware.
The Patriots blistering field goal percentage of .528 is the best by an ODU opponent this year against ODU's defense which ranked second in the nation. The 71 points by George Mason is the most against ODU since Missouri scored 69 back in November.
Gerald Lee is now averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting .526 from the field. Lee now has 1,309 career points and 565 career rebounds.
The ODU men's basketball team returns to action on Monday night at Towson. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. The Monarchs return home to the friendly confines of the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Wednesday, January 6th against James Madison at 7:00 p.m.