The George Mason Patriots and VCU Rams went toe-to-toe in Fairfax on Tuesday night in a war befitting two 13-2 CAA teams battling for first place. It was ugly offensively at times, it was chippy at times, but it was always hotly-contested and entertaining. After Mason fell behind by five in the final thirty seconds, the Patriots would hit three-three pointers in final thirty seconds to win it 62-61. Sherrod Wright would hit a running game-winner from thirty-plus feet as the buzzer went off for the thrilling one-point win.
The Rams opened it up early in the second half, getting eight points of separation mid way through the second half. But Mason responded with a 10-0 run to re-take the lead and set up a thrilling back-and-forth final five minutes.
Bradford Burgess, who was off for most of the night, hit a couple huge threes down the stretch, including one with a 1:17 to go that broke a 51-51 tie. On the subsequent possession, a Byron Allen three-pointer would come up short and give the Rams possession up three with just 43 second to go. After VCU sank two free-throws to extend the lead to five, Ryan Pearson would hit his first trey of the evening to cut it back to two. VCU would hit another two free throws, but a Vertrail Vaughns three-pointer would cut it back down to one. Briante Weber would then split a pair of setting up Wright's thirty-plus footer to win it at the buzzer.
Pearson led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds as the best player in the conference came up big again. His three-pointer kick-started the last second comeback. The Patriots are now 14-2 in the CAA and in first place.
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