FAIRFAX, Va. - Leading nearly wire-to-wire, the George Mason men's
basketball team scored its most decisive victory of the season on Thursday
evening, a 71-46 Colonial Athletic Association win over visiting Old Dominion
at the Patriot Center. The win moves the Patriots to 9-6, 2-1 in CAA play,
while the Monarchs dropped to 2-14 and 0-4 in conference.
Freshman Patrick Holloway scored 15 points while redshirt
junior Paris Bennett added a career-high 13 points on a 6-for-6 night from the
field to pace the Patriots, who saw every active player reach the court. Mason
shot 57.7 percent from the field and forced 24 turnovers. Holloway and Bennett
led a Mason effort from the bench which outscored its ODU counterparts, 58-9.
ODU was led by 14 points from Nick Wright and 13 points by Keenan Palmore.
ODU scored the game's first basket but a 1-of-9 shooting
start combined with the Patriots' 12-2 run put the home team up by eight with
eight minutes expired at 12-4. Included in that stretch were seven unanswered
points in less than 60 seconds time, and Mason would stretch its lead to nine
before five in a row by the Monarchs cut the deficit to 14-10.
Later in the half, an 8-0 Patriots run would push their lead
into double digits for the first time at 23-11, capped by a Holloway 3-pointer
with 5:29 left in the period. The Monarchs would work their way back, getting
as close as six before a Williams bucket set the eventual halftime margin of
Holloway led all scorers with 10 points in the opening half
while Williams added seven. Wright's eight points paced the Monarch offense, which
shot 28.6 percent from the field (8-28) compared to a 42.9 percent clip for
Mason would never see its lead threatened in the second
half, holding ODU without a field goal attempt until the 14:33 mark. The
advantage grew to 26 on the first career scoring by senior Bryce Lewis, a layup
at the 1:03 mark, before a Deion Clark free throw left the score 71-46. Mason nearly
matched its largest margin of victory in the Paul Hewitt era of 26, set against
Brown last season, while ODU set a new school record for the lowest single-game
field goal percentage at 25 percent.
The Patriots hit the road with just one day in between
games, as Mason visits UNCW on Saturday afternoon. Tip time from Trask Coliseum
is set for 2 p.m.