RICHMOND, Va. - Towson’s storied run at the 2009 Colonial Athletic Association men’s championship basketball title ended in the semifinals on Sunday evening when defending champ and 2nd-seeded George Mason pulled ahead late to down the 11th-seeded Tigers 56-48 in the Richmond Coliseum..
The Tigers ended their season with a 12-22 record but had challenged for the league tournament title by beating 6th-seeded Drexel 72-63 in the first round and then knocking off 3rd-seeded Northeastern 58-54 in the quarterfinals.
With the victory George Mason (22-9) will attempt to defend its title against
“It’s a proud moment for our program,” said Tiger head coach Pat Kennedy. “Twelve teams started this tournament on Friday and today we were one of four still standing. I think we proved that we belonged in the semifinals.”
The Patriots were nursing a 49-48 lead when Calvin Lee’s basket was disallowed because of a questionable charging call with 2:20 remaining in the game. The Patriots then scored the final seven points that included a three-pointer by Cam Long that just beat the shot clock. That buzzer beater was the basket that followed Lee’s foul.
Despite George Mason’s 29-26 lead at the break the Tigers played the Patriots even in the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers erased deficits of seven points to tie the score at 13-13 and later six points to knot the score at 22-22. Tony Durant’s short banker gave
In his final college game, Junior Hairston scored four points but had ten rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Patriots had a decided advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers, 42-34. But the Tigers’ defense came up with nine steals and blocked 10 shots while holding the Patriots to 38 per cent shooting.