FAIRFAX, Va. - The University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team snapped George Mason's 14-game home-court winning streak with an 82-77 overtime victory on Saturday.
UNI (6-3 overall) used a career-high tying 21 points from senior guard Marc Sonnen to go along with 19 points from senior guard Anthony James and 18 points from sophomore forward Seth Tuttle to get the victory.
UNI jumped out quickly with a 10-0 run to begin the game behind two 3-pointers from Marc Sonnen and two buckets from Seth Tuttle. UNI led 21-13, but GMU rattled off an 8-0 run to knot it at 21 with 6:17 left in the half.
GMU (6-4 overall) took its first lead of the game at 26-25 with 4:02 left in the half. The lead was short-lived as Deon Mitchell tied it at 26 with a free throw. Sonnen closed the half in style for the Panthers as he drained a 3-pointer with :02 left to give UNI a 35-31 lead at the intermission.
The Patriots took their biggest lead of the night at 38-35 with 16:16 to go in the second half. But the first three-pointer of the night from redshirt freshman guard Matt Bohannon knotted the game at 38-38.
UNI took a six-point lead at 65-59 with 4:19 left in the game. But GMU fought back and tied the game at 67-67 on a pair of free throws by Bryon Allen with 1:42 left in regulation. James hit two free throws to put the Panthers on top, 69-67, but GMU's Wright knotted it again at 69-69 on a layup with 1:20 to go. Jake Koch missed a three-pointer on the Panthers' ensuing possession giving GMU a chance to win it. But the Panthers' defense held strong and forced a shot clock violation with 3.9 seconds left.
James nearly won it in regulation as he drove the length of the floor on the in-bounds pass only to see his shot bounced out of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Panthers then proceeded to bury 8-of-8 free throws in overtime and salted away the 82-77 road win.
UNI will be in action again Sat., Dec. 15, against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big 4 Classic. The game will be held in Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
NOTES: George Mason's 14-game win streak was the ninth-best active home-court win streak in the nation heading into the game ... the second half and overtime included eight ties and 12 lead changes ... overall the game featured 13 ties and 14 lead changes ... UNI's Marc Sonnen made a 3-pointer in his 19th straight game ... Sonnen's seven made three-pointers was one away from the school record of eight set by Cam Johnson ... UNI drained 11 3-pointers in the game compared to six made 3-pointers for GMU ... UNI sank 23-of-30 at the line, while GMU made 17-of-21 at the charity stripe ... UNI is 21-1 all-time under coach Jacobson when scoring 80 or more points ... UNI improved to 7-2 in BracketBuster return games ... UNI has won four consecutive overtime games and is 6-3 in OT games under coach Jake.