Score: George Mason 81, VCU 80
Location: Richmond, Va. (E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: George Mason 15-15 (9-8 A-10), VCU 16-14 (8-9 A-10)
Attendance: 7,637 (117th consecutive sellout)
The short story: Sophomore guard Mike'l Simms scored a career-high 20 points for VCU, but a tip-in by George Mason's Ian Boyd with 0.8 seconds left spoiled the Rams' double-digit comeback and supplied the Patriots with an 81-80 win Wednesday night at the E.J. Wade Arena.
- Simms led the Rams with 20 points, including an electrifying six made 3-pointers, also a career-high. He was 7-of-12 overall from field and also handed out three assists.
- Senior forward Justin Tillman tallied in his 15th double-double of the season for VCU, the 31st of his career, with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
- Redshirt sophomore Issac Vann poured in 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting while also grabbing six rebounds for the Black and Gold.
- In addition to altering shots on the defensive end, VCU redshirt senior forward Khris Lane scored 13 points, secured three boards, dished two assists and recorded a steal.
- The Patriots' Goanar Mar and Otis Livingston II tied for a game-high 26 points.
- Before the game, Tillman, Lane, and guard Johnny Williams were honored during Senior Day ceremonies.
- George Mason exploded to a 23-8 lead as the Rams started cold from the floor, shooting 1-of-15.
- The Rams bridged the halves with a 14-0 run, capped off by a Lane 3-pointer to give VCU its first lead of the game, 46-45.
- The in-state rivals exchanged leads five times, before a 10-1 run, highlighted by two Simms 3-pointers, pushed VCU to a 69-60 advantage with just under nine minutes remaining.
- That lead held until the 4:15 mark, when Mason closed the game on a 12-2 run.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Despite its cold start, VCU shot 54 percent from the field in the last 30 minutes of the game.
- The Rams held the advantage in assists (16-12), points in the paint (31-28), and bench points (23-11), but the Patriots led in rebounds (39-38), field goal percentage (45.3-43.1), and three-point percentage (42.3-39.4).
VCU closes out the regular season at Fordham on Saturday, March 2 at 2 p.m. The game will be televised locally on CBS 6.