Fairfax, VA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Arledge scored a game-high 23 points as the George Mason Patriots registered a 62-52 win over the Western Michigan Broncos in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational at the Patriot Center.
Arledge, the only player to score in double figures for George Mason (21-14), converted all eight of his attempts at the free-throw line and was 7-of-11 from the floor for the hosts.
The Broncos (22-13) were paced by David Brown who tallied 13 points off the bench, but he connected on only 4-of-12 from the field and missed all five of his chances behind the 3-point line. Shayne Whittington and Brandon Pokley accounted for 12 and 10 points, respectively, as well as seven rebounds apiece.
WMU led by as many as nine points in the first half, but the team ended up shooting only 7-of-20 from the floor, including 2-of-12 beyond the arc, which allowed the hosts to battle back and claim a 27-20 advantage at the break. The Patriots made good on just 1-of-9 on the perimeter over the first 20 minutes of action, but made up for it with 10-of-11 at the free-throw line.
In the second half George Mason again struggled on the outside (1-of-7), but a solid 14-of-17 showing at the charity stripe kept the team on track for the double-digit win.
The Patriots were guilty of 18 turnovers and struggled from 3-point range, but the team also forced 23 miscues and outscored the visitors at the free-throw line by a 24-13 margin.
With the victory the Patriots now begin a three-game championship series against the winner of the Santa Clara/Wright State matchup.