George Mason knocks off La Salle

La Salle's Tyreek Duren gets fouled while going up for a shot against George Mason's Bryon Allen.
La Salle's Tyreek Duren gets fouled while going up for a shot against George Mason's Bryon Allen. (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: March 08, 2014

One of the differences between last year's La Salle team, which reached the NCAA's Sweet 16, and this season's edition was the ability to win close games.

La Salle failed to close out another one Thursday night in a 59-57 Atlantic Ten loss to George Mason at Tom Gola Arena.

Last season, La Salle was 7-1 in games decided by one or two points or games that went into overtime. This season, the Explorers are 1-4 in those games.

"That is not by accident or luck," coach John Giannini said. "You can't lose focus; you must battle every second."

La Salle (14-15, 6-9 A-10) saw its winning streak end after two games. The Patriots are 11-18, 4-11.

Senior Tyrone Garland gave La Salle a 57-56 lead on a spinning, driving layup with 44 seconds remaining. Mason took the lead on forward Marko Gujanicic's bucket inside with 21 seconds to play. La Salle's Tyreek Duren then missed a corner three-point jumper with three seconds left. Mason's Bryon Allen hit one of two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining.

"I thought for sure it was going in," Duren said of his last shot. "It looked good."

Garland led the Explorers with 16 points and Duren added 13.

La Salle's seniors, who have won 74 games, the most by an Explorers class since 1992, were honored before their final home game. The seniors were Garland, Duren, Sam Mills, and Taylor Dunn.

Mills went over the 1,000-point mark for his career. He had 12 points, giving him 1,004. Not bad for someone known more as a defensive specialist.

"I was glad to get it tonight," Mills said, "and being able to do it on senior night made it better."

Still, Mills and his classmates would have liked their 75th win.

Mason won even though it shot 1 for 11 from beyond the arc. La Salle was 7 for 20, but the Explorers were outrebounded, 43-35.

The Colonials were led by the 6-foot-8 Gujanicic, who scored 15 points. It was his first double-figure scoring effort since he collected 11 points on Dec. 4 in a 68-66 loss to South Florida.

La Salle will close the regular season Sunday at St. Joseph's before preparing for the A-10 tournament. The Explorers will have to win the title to earn another NCAA bid.


La Salle comes up short

GEORGE MASON 59 | LA SALLE 57
mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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