Friday , Mar , 17 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Patriot Game; George Mason upsets Michigan State

Dayton, OH (Sports Network) – Folarin Campbell scored 21 points and keyed a
big late run which propelled George Mason to an impressive 75-65 victory over
Michigan State in a Washington bracket first-round game of the NCAA Tournament
at Dayton Arena.

Will Thomas racked up 18 points and 14 rebounds and the 11th-seeded Patriots
(24-7) put on a dazzling shooting display to knock off the 2005 Final Four
participant Spartans.

Jai Lewis and Lamar Butler each had 13 points for George Mason, which will
next face either North Carolina or Murray State Saturday in the round of 32.

The win, the Patriots’ first ever in the NCAA Tournament and only the second
by a Colonial Athletic Association school in the last eight years, certainly
comes as a surprise to many. But what made it even more eye-opening was the
fact George Mason played without its second-leading scorer in guard Tony
Skinn.

The second team all-conference selection was suspended one game by head coach
Jim Larranaga for a below-the-belt punch to Hofstra’s Loren Stokes in the
Patriots’ semifinal loss in the CAA Tournament.

George Mason shot a robust 59 percent (29-for-49) for the game and also won
the battle of the boards.

Maurice Ager scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half for Michigan State
(22-12), which ends its season with losses in seven of its last 11 games. Drew
Neitzel finished with 14 points and eight assists in the setback.

Ager’s three-pointer with 6:40 left to play gave the Spartans a 52-51 lead,
but George Mason answered with a decisive 14-3 run over the next four-plus
minutes.

GMASON MICHIGANST