Mason holds off Drexel's late rally to advance in the CAA Tournament

Sherrod Wright drives and finishes against Drexel in Saturday's tournament win (Photo by Stephen Kline/Broadside).
Sherrod Wright drives and finishes against Drexel in Saturday's tournament win (Photo by Stephen Kline/Broadside).

The George Mason men's basketball team managed to keep Damion Lee and the Drexel Dragons (13-18) in check to advance to the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament with a 60-54 win at the Richmond Coliseum. 

Junior guard Sherrod Wright led the way for the Patriots (18-13), scoring 18 of his 23 points in the second half and tallying 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Bryon Allen turned in 16 points and six steals and Vertrail Vaughns added 10 points in the winning effort. 

Mason shot 91 percent from the free throw line on 22 attempts--the highest percentage in any game in which the Patriots had 20+ free throw attempts. 

Bryon Allen scores on transition layup in Saturday's game against Drexel (Photo by Jenny Krashin/Broadside).

The Patriots' defense played a major role in pulling out the win. Mason forced the Dragons into 17 turnovers on 11 steals which led to 21 points. 

After leading at the half by four points, Mason opened the second half on a 14-2 run, pushing the lead to 14 with 12:31 left in regulation. The Patriots led by as many as 15 at the 11:36 minute mark in the second half. 

Drexel rallied all the way back to cut the Patriot lead to two with only 1:22 left. After Drexel's Frantz Massenat air balled a three-pointer with 19.2 seconds left, Mason had all the momentum and the Dragons were forced to foul until the final buzzer. 

George Mason faces No. 1 seed Northeastern University tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the conference semifinals. The Huskies won both meetings with the Patriots this season, including a 20-point home victory in their last meeting on Jan. 27.