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That lead didn’t last, either, with the Panthers eventually claiming one-point advantages on two occasions.

Some separation finally occurred in the final minute when Morrison tipped in a Pearson miss to give Mason a 54-51 advantage. Georgia State’s Josh Micheaux was called for an offensive foul on the next possession, and the Panthers never again had possession with the chance to tie.

That locked up the Patriots' third win in six days. With first place all to itself, Mason at the moment has figured out a solid formula for success.

“I think we’ve learned that once we click and play well together, offense and defense and stick together and fight through toughness, we’ll be tough to beat down the stretch,” Morrison said. “It’s going to be really hard to beat us.”