It took George Mason less than four minutes to establish an eight-point lead and the Patriots went on to defeat Wisconsin-Green Bay, 74-62, at George Mason Field House last night.
"It was mayhem, on both ends it was mayhem," said Phoenix Coach Dave Buss, who was assessed two technicals in the second half. "It was the poorest officiated game we had all year."
Mason (11-11) continually stopped the visitors' comeback attempts, relying on the outside shooting of Carlos Yates (16 points) and play of center Andre Gaddy.
After Green Bay (11-11) closed within 21-18 midway through the first half, Gaddy, a 6-foot-10 senior, took control. He scored seven straight points within 1:10--two baskets coming on dunks following missed shots--to boost the Patriots' lead to 31-24. Three medium-range jumpers from Yates helped Mason to a 40-32 halftime lead.
Green Bay, which shot 36 percent from the floor, could get no closer than seven points during the second half. With Mason leading, 46-37, the Phoenix's Rob Olson drove for a basket that was disallowed by a charging call. That enraged Buss and precipitated the technicals. Mason guard Andy Bolden made two of the four shots to put the Patriots up by 11, 48-37.
With Gaddy (12 rebounds) and Mike Shannon (11 rebounds, eight points) controlling the inside, the Phoenix was forced to shoot from the outside. Guard Tom Brown, the only Phoenix player averaging in double figures, had a team-high 12 points.
Mason's Terry Henderson, who finished with nine points, helped the Patriots maintain their 10-point lead with a 20-foot jumper and three-for-three free throw shooting when Wisconsin was forced to foul.