Richmond’s second-half surge could not overcome its worst opening 20 minutes of the season, as the Spiders fell to the George Mason Patriots 69-60 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday.
The loss is a huge setback for the Spiders and their chances at qualifying for the postseason.
The Spiders’ largest halftime deficit prior to Wednesday night was nine points, but Richmond (18-10, 8-5 Atlantic 10) could not find its footing or guard anyone and trailed 37-16 at the break. George Mason (10-17, 3-10) shot 59.3 percent in the first half.
Richmond was the team on fire in the second half and cut the margin to 55-50 on a layup by guard ShawnDre’ Jones with 5:12 to play. But the Patriots scored the next seven points to end the threat, and the Spiders never came closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Guard Sherrod White scored 19 points and became the 13th player in school history with 1,500 career points for George Mason, which ended a two-game losing streak. Guard Byron Allen added 18.
Guard Kendall Anthony had 23 points for Richmond, but it took him 24 shots to get there. He took 17 of the team’s 30 3-pointers, making five. No other Spider finished in double figures.
The loss dropped Richmond into a tie with George Washington for fifth place in the Atlantic 10. The top four seeds receive byes in the conference tournament.
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