|Men's Basketball Outlasts Hofstra, 55-50|
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Sophomore Sherrod Wright scored a team-high 15 points, including the game-winning three-point play, and the George Mason men's basketball team held off Hofstra, 55-50, on Wednesday at the Mack Sports Complex.
Mason stays atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings at 9-1 in conference play and 17-5 overall, while the Pride dropped to 7-15 (1-9 CAA).
Wright was one of two Patriots in double figures, as sophomore Jonathan Arledge added 10 points including a 6-for-6 performance at the charity stripe. Senior Ryan Pearson pulled down a game high 10 rebounds, leading the Mason effort which held a 40-to-27 advantage off the glass. Mike Moore scored 18 points to pace the Pride.
Hofstra jumped out to a 9-0 lead, holding the Patriots off the board for more than five minutes into the contest. Mason's first scoring came on a Morrison layup plus the free throw at the 14:45 mark, and the Patriots would pull to within one possession at 12-9 following a Wright layup. The Pride answered with five in a row to push their lead to eight, which would prove to be their largest of the game. Mason answered with an 11-3 run to close out the first half, as Hofstra headed to the locker room up one, 20-19.
The Patriots were limited to 17.4 percent first-half field goal shooting, a season-low, connecting on just four of 23 attempts. Hofstra also struggled from the field, shooting 34.8 percent (8-23) in the first 20 minutes of the contest.
Into the second half, the Patriots found an explosive start behind the hot hand of senior Andre Cornelius, who connected on a pair of 3-pointers less than two minutes into the period which game the Patriots a 25-20 lead. It was an advantage that they held until the 6:21 mark, after a 3-pointer by Moore made it 41-40 in favor of the Pride.
The lead changed hands four more times, before Wright's jumper plus the bonus made it 51-50 with 1:46 remaining. Freshman Corey Edwards sank a pair of free throws at the 30-second mark to make it 53-50, and 11 seconds later, Wright hit two more from the stripe to set the final margin, as the Patriots kept the homestanding Pride off the scoreboard for the final two minutes of the contest.
Mason returns home on Saturday afternoon, hosting rival James Madison for a 2 p.m. tilt, broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet.