Mason knocks off Georgia State, 66-51
A 25-for-31 performance from the charity stripe and staunch defense led the George Mason men’s basketball team past Georgia State, 66-51, on Saturday afternoon at Patriot Center in Colonial Athletic Association action. Mason improved to 8-0 at home this season and 12-5 overall while moving to 4-2 in conference play. GSU dropped to 8-8 and 3-3 in conference play.
Senior Cam Long led all scorers with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and was joined in double figures by junior Ryan Pearson and senior Isaiah Tate with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Dante Curry had 12 points to lead the Panthers, who were limited to 34.7 percent field goal shooting (17-49) in the game. The 25 free throws was a season high for Mason, and the most since 31 against Creighton on Dec. 12.
GSU opened the scoreboard with the first five points of the game, with Mason held off the scoreboard for more than three minutes. Long’s layup at the 16:40 mark ended the drought, and in a first half marked by poor first-half shooting by both squads, the Panthers maintained their lead until the 10:33 mark. Cornelius knocked down a jumper after a steal and assist by Long to tie the score at eight. It was just the Patriots’ second field goal of the game to that point.
The Panthers took the lead back, but Isaiah Tate drained Mason’s first three of the game with just under seven minutes left in the first to put the Patriots ahead, 13-11. That was part of a 12-0 run that spanned nearly five and a half minutes which moved the lead to 20-11. GSU chipped away at the lead and scored the last four points of the half to set the halftime score at 24-21.
Tate had eight points to lead the Mason offense, while three Panthers contributed six points each. In the half, Mason narrowly out-shot the Panthers by a 35-to-29.2 percent margin, as the 21 Panther points was the lowest first-half total of the season for a Mason opponent.
Mason held its lead until a technical foul called on the Patriots led to two free throws by Johnson which tied the game at 25 at the 18:08 mark. The Patriots answered with four in a row to regain the advantage, part of a 9-2 run that pushed the score to 34-27. GSU cut the margin to one with six straight points, but a 7-0 streak by Mason made it 41-33. Once again the Panthers put together a run but got no closer than three. A 13-3 run by Mason gave the Patriots a lead of 56-44, and the Patriot advantage grew as large as 14 as Mason improved to 8-0 on the season on its home court.