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Morrison didn’t even hear the play call after Hewitt called timeout with 18 seconds to go. He was determined not to leave too much time on the clock, instructing Allen to begin the play with five seconds remaining on the shot clock.

From the outside, the design looked unorganized. Allen then went to right, found a lane, worked off a slick screen from Jonathan Arledge (who was in the game because Pearson fouled out) and completed the reverse layup with a soft touch off the glass.

Morrison didn’t make the play, but it meant as much as any of his best moments of the night. Mason had won another close game (its seventh this season by four points or loss) and won the right to try for another.

“For me, this one was much different,” Morrison said. “Just having me and Ryan both fouled out and knowing you have to depend on your team. From the sideline, my head was just going crazy. It was definitely a different situation for me where it’s lose and go home. I’m just so glad my team is so deep and was able to pull it off for all of us.”

It’s true for Pearson, who was granted the opportunity to redeem a night that matched his lowest scoring output of his senior year. It’s true of guard Andre Cornelius, who made his first 3-pointer since Feb. 18 with 2:45 to go.

And it especially resonates with Morrison, a man who knows a portion of his career will be defined solely by Mason’s accomplishments in his final season. Or, more to the point, just how the Patriots fare over as many as three days in Richmond.

“This is one of the most important weekends of my life, definitely,” Morrison said. “And Ryan. And Dre. I don’t think there’s anyone in this tournament that wants it badder than us.”

Thanks to Allen, Mason’s fate is back in Morrison’s hands. That’s reason enough for him to breathe easier.