SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Looking to close out the College Basketball Invitational presented by Buick with a title on Wednesday night, George Mason had other ideas and Santa Clara fell short 73-66. The two teams will have to return to the Patriot Center on Fri., April 5 in the third and deciding game. The game will be televised on AXS-TV at 4 pm Pacific and also broadcast on the Santa Clara website, www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The game will be rebroadcast on KDOW 1220 AM at 7 pm Pacific on Friday night.
Santa Clara is 25-12 and George Mason is 22-14. The game was played in front of 1,280 fans at the RAC Gym on campus because the Patriot Center was busy with a local career fair. The Broncos have traveled 8,427 miles during the CBI.
"At least we get to play again - good, bad or indifferent. We will get rested and be ready again on Friday. We are glad to go play in a real gym," said Santa Clara head coach Kerry Keating. "They shot 21 more free throws than we did. They put themselves in the right position to get to the line a lot."
"We fought back in the second half, but it's hard to keep fighting back again and again," added Keating. "The setting was fun. It was just as loud. Very unique setting. It was fun in the fact that we played in here, but not fun in the fact that we lost. Good thing is we kept fighting and staying in it. I thought we won the other night not playing great. Now it doesn't matter. It's one game for the rest of the season. It will be an easy job to get them ready to go."
"Part of the reason we have done well in the games in a tournament like this is because we do things off the court as well. I will give them a choice tomorrow about going to the monuments and the White House. We could have made this our last game of the year tonight and we didn't. So Friday will be our last game of the year," said Keating.
Santa Clara shot 37.5 percent from the field (24-for-64), including 20.0 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-25). The Broncos shot 59.1 percent from the free throw line (13-for-22). They collected 35 rebounds, 10 assists, six steals, two blocks and had 14 turnovers.
Santa Clara was led by Kevin Foster, who scored 16 points on 6-15 shooting with four assists. Marc Trasolini added 13 points and seven rebounds while Raymond Cowels III had 11 points and Brandon Clark scored 10 off the bench.
George Mason shot 40.0 percent from the field (20-for-50), including 27.3 percent from beyond the arc (3-for-11). George Mason shot 69.8 percent from the free throw line (30-of-43). They collected 41 rebounds, 11 assists, six steals, two blocks and had 14 turnovers.
George Mason was led by Sherrod Wright who scored 20 points on 4-11 shooting with 10 rebounds. Wright added a game-high 11 free throws on 17 attempts. Bryon Allen added 15 points on 5-11 shooting with four assists while Erik Copes added 10 points and nine boards.
The Patriots ran out to a 6-0 lead to start the game. Copes scored first at 18:45. Trasolini turned the ball over and Allen dunked it at 18:33 and then scored at 17:24. After Cowels III scored the second free throw, Wright dumped it in at 16:40 to put Mason up 8-1. Cowels III scored in the paint on a Roquemore miss at 16:22. Allen hit the second free throw at 16:13.
Roquemore crushed a three while being smacked to the ground by Gujanicic. He made the four point play to pull SCU within two, 9-7 GMU, at 14:14. Wright dunked it, but missed the and one at 13:58.
Edwards sank a three at 12:18 with McArthur answering inside at 11:57. Atanga picked up his second foul and Bennett scored the and one to put GMU up 17-9 at 11:31. Trasolini was fouled shooting and he sank the first at 10:12 and missed the second but the Broncos grabbed the rebound and he dumped it in.
Wright scored a triple at 8:20, 20-12 GMU. B. Clark turned the ball over and Allen raced down for a lay-up. Cowels III answered with a jumper at 6:37, but Copes dunked it hard at 6:19. Trasolini went to the rack for two at 4:58. Harrison picked up his third foul at 4:39 and Wright sank both. After a Bronco miss, Cowels III picked up his second foul at 4:23 and Wright hit two more, 28-16 GMU. It was the first time the Broncos trailed by double digits in the tournament.
Roquemore was pushed to the ground and he sank one at 4:02. Anali Okoloji scored the and one at 3:41. Foster scored his first point, a free throw at 2:54, missing the second. Copes sank two from the free throw line, 32-18 GMU at 2:31.
Foster sank the second of two free throws at 2:15. Allen scored again at 1:56 before McArthur hit one from 10 feet out at 1:38. Trasolini played smart on a pass by Roquemore and scored under the basket at 1:05.
The Patriots whistled for their third time-out of the first half when they couldn't inbound the ball with 49.3 seconds left in the half. Allen sank two free throws at 33.9 seconds to put GMU up 37-23.
Cowels III sank a three from the top of the key with seven seconds left but Allen scooted to the bucket with time running out to score and make the score 39-26 at the half.
In the first half Santa Clara shot 34.6 percent from the field (9 of 26), including 16.7 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 12). The Broncos shot 50.0 percent from the free throw line (6 of 12). They collected 17 rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block and had seven turnovers. Santa Clara was led by Cowels III, who scored eight. Trasolini added seven. Foster had four assists and just two points.
In the first half George Mason shot 46.4 percent from the field (13 of 28), including 28.8 percent from beyond the arc (2 of 7). The Patriots shot 78.6 percent from the free throw line (11 of 14). They collected 19 rebounds, six assists, four steals, no blocks and had four turnovers. George Mason was led by Allen (13) and Wright (11). Wright collected six rebounds.
The Broncos opened the second half on a 7-0 run. Foster sank his first three of the game at 19:24. Roquemore scored a pair of free throws at 18:01. Trasolini stole the ball at half-court and passed it to B. Clark and he laid it in for two at 16:24 - 39-33 GMU.
Copes tipped in a miss for the Patriots for a score in the second half at 14:50. B. Clark jump stopped and pushed it in for two over a defender in the lane at 14:23. Holloway scored a jumper at 14:05.
Foster's floater made it 43-37 at 13:48. Wright scored two pairs of free throws between an Atanga tip-in. Foster's second three was made at 12:04, but he missed the chance for a four-point play on the free throw. GMU grabbed the board and then Holloway hit back-to-back threes to put GMU up 10 52-42 at 11:25.
Foster scored off the glass at 10:09. Arledge dunked it at 9:04 and then Holloway hit a pair of free throws to make it 56-44 GMU at 8:44. Cowels III knocked down a three at 8:20 at the top of the key. The three moved him to No. 4 all-time with 218, passing Marlon Garnett (217, 1993-97). He also passed Steve Ross at No. 5 on the single season list (74, 2001-02). The assist for Roquemore also tied the school record for single season assists with 190 (John Woolery, 1993-94).
Cowels III picked up his fourth foul and Wright sank his 10th free throw in 13 tries with the pair at 6:59, 58-47 GMU. B. Clark scored in the lane and Wright scored from the top of the key at 5:03, 60-51 GMU.
Roquemore scored off the glass at 2:43 and Trasolini dunked it wide-open at 1:55 to pull SCU within 10, 66-56 GMU. Timeout Broncos.
Edwards sank a pair of free throws before Trasolini sank his own pair at 1:26. Roquemore fouled out with one minute left and Copes sank one, 69-58.
Foster dumped one in off the glass with 48 seconds left. B. Clark's attempt rolled around the rim before dropping in with 34.2 seconds left, 70-62 GMU. Foster hit another floater with 22 seconds. Trasolini stole the inbounds and flying out of bounds passed it to J. Clarke. B. Clark scored a bucket with 16 seconds left to pull SCU within four, 70-66.
Trasolini picked up his fourth foul on Wright with 13.6 seconds left and he hit one, 71-66. Arledge dunked it to end the game, 73-66 GMU.
Kevin Foster has made 426 career threes and he is No 5 all-time in NCAA history. He passed the Golden State Warriors' guard Stephen Curry (414, Davidson, 2006-09) to take over the No. 5 spot at Wright State. He needs five to move past former Tennessee All-American Chris Lofton (430, 2005-08). Foster has scored 19+ in 63 of his 132 career games. He has 15+ in 88 career games.
Kevin Foster started his 124th career game after setting the school record vs. LMU on Feb. 28. Foster played in his 132nd game and is No. 3 all-time.
Marc Trasolini and Raymond Cowels III played in their 136th career game and already own the school record. Cowels III also started his 67th straight game for the Broncos. Trasolini started his 108th career game, good for No. 4, passing Kurt Rambis (107, 1976-80). Playing in his 127th career game, Niyi Harrison is tied for No. 5 all-time (Kyle Bailey, 2001-05).
Kevin Foster is No. 5 on the WCC single season with 89 steals, including two at GMU. Foster set the school record for single season steals at Wright State on March 27. He is No. 6 on the WCC career list with 231 and tied with Terrell Lowery (231, 1988-92).
It is the second time in three years and just the third time in 17 years that Santa Clara has played in the post-season. It is the 17th post-season appearance in school history (22-18: 11-13 NCAA; 2-4 NIT, 5-0 CIT, 4-1 CBI).