Fairfax, VA (Sports Network) - The 2013 College Basketball Invitational title
is on the line, as the Santa Clara Broncos and George Mason Patriots face off
in game three of the final round on Friday night at the Patriot Center.
Santa Clara could have taken the best-of-three championship series on
Wednesday, but wasn't able to follow up its 81-73 home win in the first game
with a victory as it fell in a 73-66 final in Fairfax. The Broncos topped
Vermont, Purdue and Wright State in the first three rounds of the tournament,
and are looking for their second straight postseason championship after
winning the CollegeInsider.com Tournament a year ago.
George Mason kept its season alive with its win on Wednesday, which improved
its overall record to 22-15. The Patriots were in danger of failing to get to
the 20-win plateau entering the postseason, but wins over the College of
Charleston, Houston and Western Michigan in the first three rounds of the CBI
got them to 20 wins for the third straight season, and fifth time in the last
These two teams have now met five times previously with Santa Clara holding a
slim 3-2 advantage.
The Broncos couldn't find the type of rhythm on offense they had on their home
floor against the Patriots two nights ago, as they hit less than 40 percent
from the field in both halves, and didn't do themselves any favors by sending
the Patriots to the free throw line a whopping 43 times.
One of the primary issues Santa Clara faced on Wednesday was how Kevin Foster
(19.1 ppg) came back to Earth. The senior guard had been scorching during the
tournament with three straight games of at least 23 points, including two 30-
point efforts, but he was held to just 16 points on 6-of-15 field goal
efficiency on Wednesday night. Marc Trasolini (15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is a strong
contributor in the paint, and he had another solid effort in game two with 13
points and eight rebounds, while lead facilitator Evan Roquemore (11.8 ppg,
5.1 apg) took a step back after a 20-point showing in the first game by
tallying only nine points on 2-of-13 shooting, as well as logging more
turnovers (4) than he had assists (3).
The Patriots came out firing on all cylinders in front of their home fans
after struggling in the opening contest of the series on the road. They hit
46.4 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes and also nailed 11-of-14
shots from the free-throw line to take a 39-26 lead at the break. They would
then connect on 19-of-29 free-throw attempts after halftime to hold on for the
While Foster stumbled, it was Sherrod Wright (16.4 ppg) that got back to his
normal level of production by netting a game-high 20 points. The junior guard
has just three points in Monday's game-one loss and had compiled only 12
points in the two games prior to Wednesday's triumph. Wright has scored at
least 20 points in three games during the Tournament. Jonathan Arledge (8.8
ppg, 4.7 rpg) was not needed to carry the offense on Wednesday after filling
the role of primary scorer with Wright struggling. Arledge had a combined 44
points in the two tilts prior to game two, but slipped to just four points on
Wednesday. Bryon Allen (8.3 ppg) dropped in 15 in the win for the Patriots,
who feature nine players that average at least four points per game.
The Sports Network