By Daniel Reisig
Colonial Athletic Association play and 17-11 overall, while the Tribe dropped to 12-15 (6-10 CAA).
Copes was one of three double-figure scorers for Mason, as freshman Patrick Holloway connected on a career-best five 3-pointers to lead the team with 15 points. Junior Bryon Allen had 14 points while Copes contributed 10. Marcus Thornton scored 22 points including six 3-pointers to lead the Tribe.
Mason trailed by as many as 13 points with 11 minutes remaining in the contest, but the Patriot defense came alive to stifle the Tribe. Holding the visitors without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, Mason mounted a 19-1 run rally which saw them regain the lead at 51-50 on Holloway's trey with 4:36 left. Mason led by as many as five after a pair of free throws by Jonathan Arledge with 1:28 showing on the clock, but Thornton's 3-pointer ended the drought and made it 56-54.
Inside of the final minute, freshman Marko Gujanicic and Allen each hit one of two at the stripe, but free throws by Thornton made it a two-point game and Rusthoven found an uncontested layup in the paint to tie the score at 58. Allen brought the ball inbounds and called timeout in front of the Patriot bench, and on the ensuing possession, Allen found Copes who sank the game-winner.
In the first half, Mason led by as many as five points with five minutes to play before Rusthoven gave his squad the halftime lead on a jumper with just over a minute to play at 30-29. The Tribe shot 48 percent compared to a 37 percent clip for Mason in the first half, but committed eight turnovers to just two for the Patriots.
Mason will close out its home slate on Tuesday night as they host Towson University. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.