George Mason upends Towson, 64-52

Tigers suffer second home loss of season

Allen scores 17 points

January 20, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The team that took Maryland to the wire in the NCAA tournament last year took Towson to task again last night at the Towson Center.

Fueled by the three-point shooting of freshman Lamar Butler and senior Rob Anderson, George Mason rolled to as much as a 20-point first-half lead and went on to hand the Tigers only their second home loss of the season, 64-52.

In the 500th game of Patriot coach Jim Larranaga's career, George Mason won for the fifth time in the past six games and continued the Colonial Athletic Association struggles of Towson (5-11, 1-5).

Still, the result was much better than the 71-42 beating the Patriots administered to the Tigers two weeks earlier in Virginia.

"I think we made improvements in all aspects since the first game with them," Towson coach Michael Hunt said. "I'm proud of our guys for digging in and competing.

"We just have to do a better job with the fundamentals, rebounding, blocking out, holding onto the ball."

With leading scorer Sam Sutton finally getting his offense rolling after being shut out in the first half, the Tigers launched their best run five minutes into the second quarter.

Two three-pointers by Sutton (13 points) got them going and Brian Allen (17 points) capped the run with a jumper that pulled Towson within 56-50 with 7:46 to play.

But George Mason (11-5, 5-2) countered by keeping Towson scoreless in the final five minutes and pulled away by hitting from the foul line.

It was the fifth victory in the past six games for the Patriots and their ninth in the past 10 meetings with Towson.

Freshman guard Lamar Butler and senior forward Rob Anderson devastated the Tigers with their long-range shooting, combining for 11 three-pointers and thwarting one counter move after another with well-timed baskets from beyond the arc.

Butler's 20 points matched his career high and Anderson had 18.

"They're physical, they do a great job rebounding and those two guys knocked down some big-time shots," said Hunt of the Patriots. "They're well coached and a solid team."

The Patriots posted a 44-28 advantage on the boards with Jesse Young, the No. 2 rebounder in the CAA, grabbing 13.

Towson never led in the game and when Sutton was blanked in the first half, George Mason pulled away by as many as 20 points.

Meanwhile, Anderson collected 14 points - all but two of them on three-pointers - and Butler pitched in with four-three pointers for George Mason in the opening period.

Towson tried all kinds of defenses to counteract the long-range attack, but didn't make an appreciable offensive run until Hunt pulled the team out of one zone into another with five minutes left before halftime.

While the Patriots cooled down, Towson scored 13 of the next 15 points to close within 38-29 before Anderson dropped a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

GEORGE MASON-Larranaga 2-11 4-6 8, Young 3-8 5-6 11, Anderson 6-13 1-2 18, Heinen 0-3 2-2 2, Butler 7-15 0-0 20, Franklin 0-0 0-0 0, Tynes 0-1 0-0 0, Wyatt 0-1 1-2 1, Nixon 2-6 0-0 4, Cooper 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-58 13-18 64. TOWSON-Blanks 3-11 4-4 10, Sutton 5-13 0-0 13, Augustus 0-2 0-0 0, Shin 1-3 2-2 4, Allen 7-13 0-0 17, Reaves 0-0 0-0 0, Weatherspoon 0-0 0-0 0, Goode 4-7 0-0 8, Dotson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 6-6 52. Halftime-George Mason 41-29. 3-point goals-George Mason 11-24 (Butler 6-10, Anderson 5-10, Larranaga 0-1, Heinen 0-1, Tynes 0-1, Wyatt 0-1); Towson 6-21 (Allen 3-7, Sutton 3-7, Augustus 0-1, Dotson 0-2, Blanks 0-4). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-George Mason 44 (Young 13); Towson 28 (Blanks 7). Assists-George Mason 18 (Larranaga 6); Towson 12 (Sutton 5). Totals fouls-George Mason 12; Towson 15. A-546.

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