|Men's Basketball Sinks Hofstra, 57-46|
FAIRFAX, Va. - A pair of big runs on offense combined with stifling field goal defense powered the George Mason men's basketball team to a 57-46 Colonial Athletic Association win over Hofstra on Saturday night at the Patriot Center. Mason improved to 4-2 in conference play and 11-7 overall, while the Pride dropped to 5-13 (2-3 CAA).
Redshirt junior Sherrod Wright poured in 21 points, his CAA-leading ninth game with 20 or more, to lead the George Mason offense which out-shot the Pride from the field by a 40-to-23 percent margin. Classmate Jonathan Arledge added eight points along with a team-high seven rebounds, pacing a Patriot effort that won the rebounding battle, 40-39. Taran Buie scored 14 points to lead the Pride while Stephen Nwaukoni had a game-best 12 rebounds.
A one-possession game through the first eight plus minutes, the Patriots embarked on an 11-0 run to transform an 8-5 deficit to a 16-8 advantage. Mason held the Pride off the scoreboard for 6:25 as Hofstra was unsuccessful on 13 straight field goal attempts, eventually ending the drought with free throws by Stevie Mejia at the 8:18 mark. Mason's run extended to 16-2 as an Arledge layup with 7:29 left in the first half pushed the lead to 21-10.
Mason held a double digit lead into the final minute of the period before Buie sank a pair of free throws with 48 seconds remaining, setting the halftime score of 31-23. Wright scored 11 points in the opening half while Buie had eight, as the Patriots were 11-25 from the field in the half, compared to a 4-25 mark for the Pride.
Hofstra mounted an 8-2 run out of the locker room which tied the score at 33, as the Patriots sank just one of their first six field goal attempts. Mason, though, got a jumper and a pair of free throws by Wright to push the lead back to four. Moussa Kone pulled the Pride within 37-36 with 12:22 remaining, but the Patriots preserved their lead, including a Marko Gujanicic jumper with 13 seconds on the clock that made it 57-44, matching the Patriots' largest lead.
Mason will embark next on a road trip that begins Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Towson. That game can be seen live on MASN.