|Men's Basketball Cruises to 71-39 Victory Against Monmouth|
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The George Mason men's basketball team bounced back from a tough overtime defeat on Tuesday night, cruising to a 71-39 victory over Monmouth in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off consolation round. Mason stands at 2-1 on the season after the win, while the Hawks dropped to 0-3.
Senior Ryan Pearson posted his third double-double in as many games, leading the Patriots with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Joining him in double figures was redshirt sophomore Vertrail Vaughns, who added 12 points. Ed Waite tallied 12 rebounds and nine points to lead the Hawks.
Mason opened on an 8-0 run, connecting on their first three field goal attempts including treys by Vaughns and Pearson. It was part of a larger 11-2 stretch that held the Hawks to just one field goal in the first three minutes of the game. The Patriot advantage would stay, growing into double digits and at one point as large as 19 at 36-17. Each team would score four more points from that point on, setting a halftime margin of 40-21.
Mason was led in the half by 12 points from Vaughns, all coming from beyond the arc, and 11 points from Pearson, who also added six rebounds to lead all players in the opening period. The Patriots held a 56-to-31 percent field goal shooting advantage and also out-rebounded Monmouth in the first half, 20-11.
Out of the intermission, the Patriots outscored the Hawks by a 9-3 margin to begin the second half and their lead was never threatened, growing as large as 32.
The Patriots next travel to Florida Atlantic, where they will battle the Owls at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening in Boca Raton. Live radio of that game will be available on 106.7 The Fan in the Washington metro area and worldwide on GoMason.com. Information on next week's home doubleheaders as part of the consolation bracket of the NIT Season Tip-Off will be posted soon on GoMason.com once it is available.