Poland, South Florida defeat George Mason 61-57

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Jawanza Poland scored 16 points as South Florida beat George Mason 61-57 Saturday night in a game that saw a scary injury involving Bulls' point guard Anthony Collins.

Collins was hurt with 10:30 to go in the second half, which resulted in the South Florida sophomore having his neck and head stabilized before being taken off the court on the stretcher.

''He had pain in his neck area,'' South Florida coach Stan Heath said. ''That was the concern. That's why he left the way he left. The latest news we have is A.C. does have sensation in his hands and feet, so that's a good sign.''

Collins' head hit the knee of another player. He did have movement in his arms and legs. Heath said Collins was undergoing tests late Saturday an area hospital.

South Florida (8-3) also got 14 points from Martino Brock.

Sherrod Wright had 22 points for George Mason (7-5). The guard became the first Patriots' player to have 20 or more points in four straight games since Jason Miskiri in January 1999.

''He's having a very good year, but he can get better and he knows it,'' George Mason coach Paul Hewitt said. ''There's some things there defensively and rebounding the ball, but obviously, I'm pleased that he's having a terrific year shooting the ball.''

The Bulls used a 12-0 run to go ahead 34-24 5 minutes into the second half. After 3-pointers by Brock and Poland, Collins had a layup and Victor Rudd added two slams.

Rudd, who had 29 points in the Bulls' 87-84 triple overtime win over Bowling Green on Dec. 21, scored all of his six points during the second half. He left late in Saturday's game with a concussion after getting hit in the head.

George Mason got within 55-53, but Poland helped secure the win with four late free throws.

''I'll give our team a lot of credit because we could have folded, but we didn't,'' Heath said. ''We fought like crazy.''

Wright had nine points as George Mason, which trailed by five 16 minutes into the game, pull even at 22 through the opening half.

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