With the shot clock winding down and the scored tied late in George Mason’s season opener Friday night against Virginia, Patriots guard Bryon Allen figured he better get off a shot to at least allow his big men a chance for an offensive rebound.
But as his desperation three-pointer, taken over the outstretched arms of Cavaliers guard Justin Anderson, sailed through the air and a sellout crowd of 9,840 at Patriot Center went quiet, Coach Paul Hewitt stood a few feet away thinking in more simple terms: “Please go in.”
The shot hit nothing but net and turned out to be the deciding basket as George Mason escaped with a thrilling 63-59 victory over the Cavaliers in a back-and-forth affair that felt more like a conference game than one played on the opening night of the college basketball season.
Allen finished with 13 points, seven of which came in the final 2 minutes 48 seconds of a game that featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes. He also dished out five assists to help the Patriots overcome a porous 8-of-19 showing from the free throw line.