George Mason forward Erick Copes tapped-in Sherrod Wright’s missed layup to lead the Patriots past College of Charleston, 78-77, in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational Tuesday night at TD Arena.

The Cougars (24-11) led 77-71 with 1:43 to play, but the Patriots (19-14) scored the final seven points of the game to esacpe with the victory.

Anthony Stitt led the Cougars with 21 points, while Adjehi Baru finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Cougars were without junior forward Willis Hall, who broke his foot.