VCU ousts George Mason 74-64 in CAA semis

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)—Bradford Burgess scored 20 points and Virginia Commonwealth burst out to a 32-4 lead, then had to hang on against a furious rally by George Mason, moving into the Colonial Athletic Association championship with a 74-64 victory Sunday.

Troy Daniels added 17 points and Rob Brandenberg 14 for VCU (27-6), which had the huge lead after just 9 minutes. The Rams won for the 24th time in its last 27 games and will face Drexel, winners of 18 in a row, for the league’s automatic NCAA tournament berth Monday night.

Mike Morrison had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for George Mason (24-9). The Patriots outscored the Rams 60-42 over the final 31 minutes, but couldn’t overcome a start in which VCU scored the first 21 points and Mason’s first field goal came after 8:11.

The Patriots cut it to 48-32 by halftime, but never got closer than six.

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Updated Sunday, Mar 4, 2012