|Men's Basketball Cruises at Hofstra, 79-50|
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - A balanced offensive attack led by 20 points from junior Jonathan Arledge propelled the George Mason men's basketball team to a 79-50 victory on Wednesday night at the Mack Sports Complex. Mason improved to 16-11, 9-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play while the Pride dropped to 3-12 in conference and 6-22 overall.
Arledge was one of three double-digit scorers for the Patriots, who shot 54 percent from the field for the game. Sophomore Erik Copes notched his second double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while junior Sherrod Wright added 10. In total, 11 different Patriots recorded a point, while Taran Buie had 12 points to lead the Pride.
Hofstra opened the game 0-for-10 from the field which allowed the Patriots to build a 7-0 lead before Savion hit a pair of free throws at the 13:30 mark. The Pride drought continued and the Mason advantage grew to 14-2. Mason led by as many as 12 before a Buie 3-pointer ended the 0-13 field goal drought at the 10:20 mark.
Mason would lead comfortably for the duration of the first half, as Hofstra got no closer than seven in the period. The Pride connected on just four of 27 field goal attempts in the first half (14.8 percent) but was buoyed by a 10-16 half at the free throw line.
The Patriots, meanwhile, hit half their shots (13-26) and was 3-for-3 from the stripe. Arledge led the Patriot effort with nine points while Copes pulled down seven boards, leading a 21-19 Mason advantage off the glass. Buie scored six to pace the Pride.
Mason's advantage stayed in double-digits for the final 20 minutes of the game, as two free throws by David Imes less than 15 seconds into action pulled the Pride to within 34-21, the closest they would get. Mason pushed its lead as large as 32 after back to back 3-pointers by Arledge and Anali Okoloji layups left the score 70-38 with 7:12 left in the contest.
Hofstra's shooting improved to 38 percent in the second half, but they could not catch up with a 58-percent offensive attack by the Patriots, including a 5-of-7 mark from beyond the arc. The Patriots picked up their largest margin of victory this season with the 29-point decision.
Mason will be back in action on Saturday, opening up a two-game homestand against the College of William & Mary. Tip time is set for 4 p.m. from the Patriot Center.