The Patriots had the Wolfpack right where they wanted them.
After keeping the game close throughout the first half, the Patriots emerged from halftime with their sights set on the Charleston Classic Final. They took a two-point lead with just over 10 minute remaining in the game. But they could not sustain it, as N.C. State came back for the victory.
As reported by Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post, the Patriots blamed themselves for the loss.
"We got a little selfish," said senior Cam Long, who scored a team-high 16 points. "In the moment, everybody wants to get their shots. And that's what it came down to. We started to put ourselves in a position where we just let ourselves go. We started not sharing the ball with each other. We played right into the hands of N.C. State."
The Patriots were out-rebounded by the bigger Wolfpack team 35-29. The big difference in this game though may have been three-point shooting. George Mason was just 4-14 from long distance while N.C. State was 8-19.
A win would have set up a dream matchup for local fans between George Mason and Georgetown in the tournament Final. Instead, the Patriots were bumped to the third place game where they will face Wofford. N.C. State will meet Georgetown in the Final in an early bout between the Big East and ACC.