Mason men's basketball defeats Rhode Island, 61-54

Mason men's basketball is 5-2 after defeating Rhode Island on Saturday (photo by Gopi Raghu).
Mason men's basketball is 5-2 after defeating Rhode Island on Saturday (photo by Gopi Raghu).

The Mason men’s basketball team defeated Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon at the Patriot Center, 61-54.

Jalen Jenkins posted 11 rebounds and five blocks, while tying his career-high in scoring with nine points. Sherrod Wright tallied 16 points, and Marko Gujanicic had 13 on the night. Bryon Allen added 6 assists, but ended the night with only six points.

“I know that every night I’m not going to score and make every shot,” Allen said. “But I tried to keep my defensive energy going.”

Tied at 54-54 with 2:26 left to play, Gujanicic capitalized on a pair of free throws that sparked a 7-0 Mason run, as URI went 0-5 from the field in the final two minutes. Allen hit the final field goal of the game with 39 seconds on the clock, and the Patriots went 3-6 on free throws to bring the final score to 61-54 in Mason’s favor.

The Rams shot 40 percent in the game to the Patriots' 42 percent, but outscored Mason 30-28 in the paint. The score was tied six times and resulted in four lead changes, but Mason saw a 17-14 advantage on points off of turnovers in the game. 

“We made an emphasis cutting down turnovers,” Paul Hewitt said. “If you can protect the rim in college basketball, you’re going to be a good defensive team.”

The Patriots led by as many as seven in the first half with the score at 18-11 with 11:53 on the clock, but would head into the locker room up by only two at the half, 33-31. Erik Copes made his season debut but saw only three minutes and had two fouls before he returned to the bench.

Mason improves to 5-2 with the win and will host South Florida on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Patriot Center. 

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