FAIRFAX, Va. – An early second half run by the University of Richmond men’s basketball team wasn’t enough as the Spiders dropped a tough 93-70 road decision to in-state foe George Mason on Tuesday night.
Senior T.J. Cline led the Spiders once again, pouring in 21 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out five assists. It was his 12th 20-point outing of the season, and seventh in the last eight games.
Richmond won the paint battle, outscoring the Patriots 38-34 in that category, but Mason made 32 trips to the free-throw line on the night.
It was a back and forth battle early on, with a bucket from freshman De'Monte Buckingham with 10:29 left in the first giving Richmond a 16-13 advantage. Neither team led by more than three over the first 13 minutes of the contest.
However, as three Richmond players went to the bench with foul trouble, Mason began to take advantage and opened a 31-21 lead.
The Spiders cut the Patriots lead down to seven, but a late run sent the Patriots into halftime with a 41-28 lead.
Mason pushed its lead to 16 early in the second half, but Cline and Sherod would go to work, chipping away at the Patriots lead and eventually getting it down to 65-61 with 6:33 remaining.
A three-point play by Jalen Jenkins ignited an 11-0 Patriots run that ultimately sealed the Spiders’ fate with Mason holding on to its lead over the final five minutes of the contest.
Richmond returns home to the sold out Robins Center on Friday night when they host VCU in the Lumber Liquidators Battle for the Capital. Game time is set for 9 p.m. on ESPN2.