Posted: 12:59 a.m. Thursday, March 28, 2013
By Christopher Hondros
In a game with low shooting and high scoring runs, George Mason pulled out the win, thanks mainly to Jonathon Arledge. The Patriots went on an 18-0 run over the course of nine minutes in the first half to overcome a slow start. Even though the Broncos attempted a comeback in the second half, they could pull no closer than seven points.
Both teams shot the ball poorly: Western Michigan shot 35.8% (25% from the three-point line) and George Mason shot 36.7% (12.5% from beyond the arc). However, what killed the Broncos was that they turned the ball over 23 times and fouled the Patriots in shooting opportunities (which GMU capitalized on, making 24-28).
For the Patriots, Arledge was the big hero, scoring 23 points and five rebounds. Sherrod Wright scored an additional nine points and both Erik Copes and Marko Gujanicic scored eight. Bryon Allen and Corey Edwards were key players who didn't score: Allen collected four rebounds, seven assists and two steals and Edwards had two rebounds, two assists and five steals.
For the Broncos, David Brown led the way with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. Along with him were Shayne Whittington and Brandon Pokley, who scored 12 and ten points respectively. While Western Michigan collected 32 rebounds as a team (compared to George Mason's 28 points), they could not hold on to the basketball.
In Dayton, Wright State took a two point lead into the half, thanks to a buzzer-beating dunk by A.J. Pacher. The Raiders couldn't hang on to the momentum though, as Kevin Foster scored 21 second half points to lead Santa Clara to victory. The "Other" Broncos came out swinging in that second half, going on a 19-4 run, not allowing Wright State to cut it closer than seven points at any point in the final period.
Despite shooting better overall in the game (54.2% compared to the Broncos 48.4%), Wright State did not have near as many attempts as Santa Clara. The Broncos out-rebounded the Raiders 33-25 and forced 15 turnovers, while only committing six themselves.
Foster followed up his 34-point masterpiece against Purdue with yet another fantastic performance. His final tally was 33 points, four steals and three assists. Evan Roguemore added 16 points, five assists and two rebounds, while no other Bronco contributed more than nine points.
On the other side, Pacher finished his night with 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Jerran Young and Miles Dixon scored 13 and ten points respectively.
George Mason and Santa Clara will now face off in a best-of-three championship series beginning April 1. Can the Patriots win the CBI trophy before they head to the Atlantic 10? Or will Kevin Foster and company reign supreme and take the trophy to the West Coast?