George Mason tops Hofstra, makes it eight in a row
Junior Andre Cornelius scored a season-high 22 points to lead a quartet of George Mason men’s basketball players in double figures and the Patriots exploded for their highest scoring total of the year, a 87-68 victory over Hofstra on Saturday night.
Coupled with VCU’s loss to Northeastern in Boston on Wednesday, the Patriots (18-5, 10-2 CAA) move into a tie for the top spot in the Colonial Athletic Association standings. The Pride fell to 14-9, 8-4 in CAA play.
Joining Cornelius was classmate Ryan Pearson, who registered his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Seniors Cam Long and Isaiah Tate chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively. For the Pride, the nation’s sixth-leading scorer in Charles Jenkins paced the offense with 22 points, but was limited to 8-of-20 field goal shooting. Off the glass, Mason out-rebounded Hofstra by a 45-to-29 margin. The Patriots’ victory was their eighth-straight as they improved to 11-0 at home this season.
Mason grabbed an early lead at 6-5 after a pair of 3-pointers but the Pride, thanks to a 5-of-6 start from the field, led by as many as five at 13-8. The Patriots stormed back with a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 15-13.
It was part of a larger 12-2 run which made the difference five points, a margin which was Mason’ s largest advantage until a reverse layup by Long made it 29-19 on a fastbreak with just under 10 minutes left in the first half. The lead would hover around double-digits growing as large as 16 after a two-handed slam by Long made it 48-32 with 1:11 left in the half.
Mason would head to the halftime locker room leading 49-34, a season high for first-half scoring. Cornelius led the way with 16 points while Pearson had 13 points and seven rebounds in the opening stanza.
Into the second half, the Patriots kept it going with the first four points and did not let up, expanding the advantage as large as 20 points. The Pride would close to 11 points at 72-61 with just over seven minutes to go, but could not move the score into single-digits as the Patriots avenged the loss in Hempstead just over a month ago.