Richmond 74, George Mason 59
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Richmond’s Chris Fleming and Kenny Wood powered a second-half run Saturday and the Spiders opened their bid for a third consecutive Colonial Athletic Association tournament title with a 74-59 victory over George Mason.
The top-seeded Spiders (22-6) won their eighth game in a row, but had difficulty putting away a team whose best offensive threat averages just 11 points.
George Mason (7-21) ended the season by losing seven straight and 11 of 12.
A layup by Craig Hodges cut George Mason’s deficit to 35-31 with 17:44 to play.
Richmond responded with a 13-2 surge. Fleming hit a pair of 3-pointers and Wood had two short jumpers as the Spiders extended their advantage to 48-33 at the 13:53 mark.
The Patriots trimmed it to 59-52 with 5:24 left on James Thompson’s layup.
But CAA player of the year Curtis Blair, who led the Spiders with 26 points, scored the next four, and Richmond sealed the victory by making nine of 12 free throws in the final 2:04.
Wood finished with 16 points and Gerald Jarmon added 10 for the Spiders, including their last six. Fleming’s two 3-pointers were his only points of the game.
Hodges led George Mason with 13 points, Donald Ross and Kenny Scroggins each had 12 and Jamel Perkins added 11.
Richmond used runs of 7-0 and 13-2 on the way to a 33-25 halftime lead. The Spiders shot just 39 percent in the half, but they forced 10 turnovers and repeatedly kept George Mason from getting inside for quality shots.