- George Mason (in white) and Towson players battle for a rebound during the first half of Thursday's game. (Photo: TBD Staff)
It happened roughly 21 hours after it was originally scheduled, but the George Mason University Patriots did what was expected of them against the last-place Towson Tigers, as they used a 23-0 run to turn a 23-20 deficit late in the first half into a 43-23 lead early in the second half. Mason went onto win 84-58 and secured a tie for 2nd place in the Colonial Athletic Association with the loser of tonight's showdown between Hofstra and Virginia Commonweath.
The game had been originally scheduled to begin at 7:00 Wednesday night, but was postponed to 4:00 this afternoon after the Towson team bus was caught in traffic on Braddock Road near the George Mason campus. The Tigers, who left the school's Maryland campus at 3:00 yesterday afternoon, spent the night at a local Hampton Inn after not arriving on Braddock Road until close to 8:00 last night. Under normal circumstances, the two schools are a 90-minute drive from each other.
"By the end of it, we looked like a team that had been on a bus for 12 hours," said Towson coach Pat Kennedy.
Towson's failure to plan ahead earned the university a public reprimand from CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager. "While everyone understands travel complications with winter storms, there is no evidence that any consideration was made by Towson to adjust their normal travel plans to account for the anticipated problems," Yeager said in a statement issued by the conference.
Thus humbled off the court, the Tigers went out and suffered their ninth straight loss to drop to 0-10 in CAA play (4-16 overall). At one point, Towson trailed by 33 points after a Vertrail Vaughns three-pointer made the score 82-49 with four minutes remaining.
The Patriots (16-5, 8-2 CAA) were led by Luke Hancock, who scored 19 points to lead all scorers, while Andre Cornelius(15 points), Cam Long (12 points), and Ryan Pearson (10 points) all finished in double figures. Towson was led by Rashawn Polk, who scored 19 points off the bench, while Brian Morris added 10 points of his own.
The game was watched by 3,791 fans, who took advantage of the University's offer of free admission to the rescheduled game and braved the snow clearing which was still going on in the Patriot Center parking lots.