Georgia State knocked out by George Mason

Richmond, Va. — George Mason’s Bryon Allen hit a reverse layup with 3 seconds remaining to eliminate Georgia State, 61-59, in the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament on Saturday.

Georgia State’s season ends after winning the second-most games (21) in school history. The Panthers will now wait to see if they are invited to any of the postseason tournaments.

The Panthers have failed to advance to the semifinals of the CAA tournament since they began playing in the conference in 2005-06. George Mason will play Virginia Commonwealth in one semifinal. Drexel will play Old Dominion in the other.

Georgia State tied the game on a steal and layup by James Fields with 33 seconds remaining.

George Mason coach Paul Hewitt called a timeout with 18 seconds left to set up the final play. Starting on the left side, Allen dribbled right, cut down the side of the free-throw lane and went under the basket for the shot. By going under the basket, he kept Eric Buckner from blocking the shot.

“I tried to cut him off, but he went under and I didn’t want to foul,” said Buckner, who led the CAA in blocks (106) this season.

“Bryon made a bit-time shot,” Hewitt said.

While the Panthers were beaten by a layup, they were undone by their inability to hit free throws, a problem all season. The Panthers missed 13 of their 30 attempts, a 56.7-percent clip slightly less than their 66.1-percent season average. They missed 10 of 19 in the second half. Fields led Georgia State with 15 points. Rashaad Richardson added 10.

“It’s been an Achilles’ heel of ours all year,” a teary Ron Hunter said. “We didn’t make them when we needed to.

“If we made free throws we would have won 27 games. But we didn’t make them when we needed to.”

The teams played a mostly uneven game. Georgia State led by 11 with 9:39 left in the first half but couldn’t duplicate what it did in Friday’s first round against Hofstra and put away the Patriots on Saturday.

Eventually, George Mason rallied and took a 44-43 lead with 9:04 left.

With Georgia State trailing 56-55, Andre Cornelius hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring to push George Mason’s lead to 59-55 with 2:45 left.

Buckner, the hero in Georgia State’s first tournament game, missed two free throws with 1:49 left that would have cut the Panthers’ deficit to two.

George Mason followed by turning over the ball and Devonta White went to the free-throw line after being fouled by Mike Morrison, who joined Ryan Pearson on the bench with five fouls each. White hit both free throws to cut Georgia State’s margin to 59-57 with 1:14 left.

Fields then  tied the game at 59 with a steal and layup with 33 seconds left. Fields sliced in between two George Mason players who were trying to make a short pass at the top of the free-throw lane. He put one hand on it, burst between them and outraced a trio to the basket.

22 comments Add your comment

GSU

March 3rd, 2012
11:59 pm

Unbearable. Simply at a loss for words. This was our year! We are losing all of our seniors. It will take many years to get back to where we were this year.

GeorgeMason

March 4th, 2012
12:09 am

Occupy Hunterville

March 4th, 2012
12:24 am

In the press conference Friday night, Coach Hunter said something to the effect that if he could just have all of these guys together for one more year, they could do wonders. That’s a great testament to all that they have accomplished this year, but one that is tinged — particularly right now — with some sorrow. Although it was inevitable that we would lose at some point and the season would come to an end, I am still profoundly saddened by the fact that we won’t see Jihad, James, Eric, Josh and the other seniors in a GSU uniform anymore. What a great gift they have given us this year.

Occupy Hunterville

March 4th, 2012
12:26 am

And, GeorgeMason, you can bite me. We’ll see you next year.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 4th, 2012
12:26 am

So bummed about this loss, I just can’ believe this season is over. Losing to Mason is the worst, especially since their players have the worst attitudes of any players in the CAA.

Thanks to the players, especially the seniors, Coach Hunter, and all the Assistants for the best year of GSU basketball that I have ever experienced! Ali, Buckner, Fields, Micheaux, McGee, and Taylor…Thanks for all you have contributed to GSU Basketball, and the GSU as a whole.

Doug, thanks for all of the great coverage this basketball season.

Sluggo

March 4th, 2012
1:24 am

Tough pill to swallow. Congratulations on a great season and hopefully we can secure a postseason bid somewhere. #Freethrows

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GSUBB

March 4th, 2012
1:34 am

CAA’s POY only highlight of the game? I reaction to a dunk while he was sitting on the bench. Funny.

Patriot74

March 4th, 2012
10:06 am

hunterville. go get some class. sore loser!

Occupy Hunterville

March 4th, 2012
10:38 am

Patriot74, I’ll let you model that behavior when you lose to VCU today.

irishmafia116

March 4th, 2012
11:21 am

How do you not make free throws? It’s the same distance and form that you use from middle school on ! When I played in HS eons ago everyone on the team was at least a 70% FT shooter now kids never practice -pros either -(josh Smith 55%) they’d rather practice a dunk!!! Game just isn’t anywhere near as good as it used to be no fundementals –and ruined by TV ! watching game the other night tied 35 seconds left -referees TO while they sorted a problem -guy finally goes to the line makes two FT -TIME OUT! WTF you were just over there for four minutes ! -Ball is passed in bounds -other team calls a TIME OUT! 6 minutes on the side and you couldnt figure out what to do? Shot goes up -rebound and you guessed it TIME OUT ! 3 seconds of play and 8 minutes of time outs! game is ruined

GSU is in Atlanta

March 4th, 2012
11:44 am

Patriot74, how about checking the youtube video of your fans flicking off our fans after you won the game, or all of the taunting that Pearson and Morrison did with our players…that is some true class right there. VCU is going to clean the floor with you guys today.

Old School

March 4th, 2012
12:10 pm

So close, but no cigar. Quite proud of what these guys have done. Really proud. And a new coach with winning ways. A bright future. But left at the moment hearing the sizzle and smelling the steak, and goin’ hungry. Have the offseason to think about the overtime losses and near misses (3 point deficit or less). A few more free throws made, a couple more shots falling and you could’ve put those seven games into the win column. Think about what seven more wins would have done to their record. Woulda, shoulda, coulda, yes, but that’s what brings us back. Atlanta needs its own successful basketball program more than it needs another football team. (Think Gonzaga.) I hope that the Panthers can fill that role and that this season contributes to its recruiting and momentum.

Biff Pocoroba

March 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

Should have fouled him. Everyone knows that Hewitt’s teams can’t make free throws. Once he loses the players he inherited, his team will go back to being awful while Hewitt just sits back and collects a paycheck while his players skip class and don’t graduate. I wonder if he will come back and speak up for Javaris about how great a person he is after his latest arrest.

Chicken Bone

March 4th, 2012
12:30 pm

Have to agree with Irishmafia116 on the FT issue. I cannot understand how we missed so many free throws in a season. Free throw means a free shot from a very makeable spot. Made 119 out of 125 at a 5 day basketball camp at a local JUCO in 76 as a sixteen year old. So, I believe it just comes down to a lack of fundamentals this day and time. We would have won 5 to 7 more games this year if we could have made free throws. Besides that it has been a GREAT season and Coach Ron Hunter is the best hire in Men’s Basketball since Lefty. Looking forward to his future success.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 4th, 2012
12:39 pm

Ron Hunter > Lefty

Patriot74

March 4th, 2012
12:48 pm

Hey GSU is in Atlanta. No game is ever won before its played.

dnn

March 4th, 2012
1:09 pm

Enter your comments here

dnn

March 4th, 2012
1:13 pm

GSU there are too many good players in the ATL for GSU to not have great basketball teams

Patriot74

March 4th, 2012
1:41 pm

Biff you’re just another hater.

RidgeRunner

March 4th, 2012
5:32 pm

Biggest GSU crowd ever at the tournament.

Blue land

March 5th, 2012
2:06 pm

Thanks guys for making this season very entertaining. Hope we get into post season somewhere. The Hofstra and GMU game left me wanting more and since football doesn’t begin for several months I need at least a couple more State basketball games to tie me over.