In a matchup of teams looking for their first win in Atlantic 10 play, George Mason and Rhode Island engaged in an affair that ended up going to overtime with the Rams winning 71-69. Early on the game has the look of anything but a thriller, with the visiting Patriots jumping out to a 12-point first half lead. However Rhode Island would cut that margin to four by the intermission, with guard Xavier Munford (28 points) leading the charge.
Ultimately two fouls would determine the outcome, with Rhode Island fouling Bryon Allen in the act of shooting with 2.2 seconds remaining while leading 69-66. Dan Hurley’s team attempted to give the foul in the backcourt but the call wasn’t made, and once the call was made Allen was into his heave from half-court.
But instead of a second extra session there was even more drama to be had.
After Allen made all three free throws Rhode Island’s Gilvydas Biruta was fouled on the catch of a long pass with seven tenths of a second remaining. Biruta, who finished the game with 17 points and ten rebounds, would make both free throws to provide the final margin. Sherrod Wright led three George Mason players in double figures with 12 points.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.