For the second straight game to start the 2011-12 season, the George Mason Patriots needed an extra frame to resolve their game, losing in overtime to FIU. Mason was crippled by multiple turnovers and poor free-throw shooting as they fell 79-76 at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg. The Patriots committed 21 turnovers and missed 9 free throws.
Once again, Ryan Pearson led the Patriots with 18 points and notched his second straight double-double pulling down 10 boards. Three other Patriots finished in double figures, including Vertrail Vaughns, Sherrod Wright, and Byron Allen. Senior Mike Morrison, however, contributed only four points on five shots.
The Patriots trailed by as many as 7 in overtime, down 77-70 with just over a minute to play. Miraculously, they would have an opportunity to tie it at the buzzer when Vaughns hit a three pointer to cut it to three and FIU immediately turned it over on a traveling violation. A Pearson three pointer to tie it, however, came up short and the Panthers marched on to face Virginia Tech for the right to go to New York City and play at Madison Square Garden.