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A 13-2 run by the George Mason Patriots was too much for the James Madison University men's basketball team to overcome as the Dukes fell 68-57 in a Colonial Athletic Association game at the Patriot Center in Fairfax on Tuesday night.
JMU fell to 9-9 on the season and 3-2 in Colonial Athletic Association match-ups while Mason improved to 10-7 and 3-2 in league play.
Redshirt senior forward Rayshawn Goins put up a team-high 13 points, including eight in the second half, and freshman guard Ron Curry posted 11 points, all of which came in the first 20 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Enoch Hood paced the Dukes on the glass with six boards while redshirt senior guard Devon Moore tallied six assists.
For the Patriots, Sherrod Wright had a game-high 23 points and went 12-of-16 from the charity stripe. Marko Gujanicic was the lone double-double of the game, dropping 10 points and 10 rebounds.
In the early goings of the game, neither team was able to gain more than a three-point advantage as the Dukes and Patriots traded baskets. A pair of Moore free-throws, however, sparked a 15-6 JMU run that allowed Madison to build a nine-point lead, 31-22, at the 3:55 mark of the first half. Mason went on its own 6-2 run to close the half, and the Dukes carried a 33-28 lead into the locker room.
The second half started much as the first did as both teams came out firing. After a layup by senior guard Alione Diouf pushed the JMU lead to seven at the 16:59 mark, Mason put five unanswered points onto the board. While the Dukes would battle back, another 5-0 run tied the game 43-all with 11:53 to go in the game, and a final 9-0 run by the Patriots gave them a 58-50 lead that they would not relinquish over the last five minutes of the game.
Free throws proved to be the difference maker. Mason's final 11 points all came from the charity stripe, and the Patriots converted 15-of-21 free throws in the second half after making just 13 trips in the first half. The Dukes went a perfect 10-of-10 from the line through the first half, but were only able to convert six of their final 14 trips.
From long range, JMU went cold in the second half, sinking none of the eight shots taken from beyond the arc. George Mason also outrebounded James Madison, collecting 48 missed shots to the Dukes' 29 boards.
JMU will continue conference play this Saturday, Jan. 19, when the Dukes travel to Towson, Md., for a noon tip-off against the Tigers.