Mason rolls over Towson
Unaffected by a 21-hour delayed tip time as a result of travel complications due to the winter storm, the George Mason men’s basketball team dominated the Towson Tigers in an 84-58 Colonial Athletic Association victory Thursday afternoon. The win marked the Patriots’ sixth straight and a 10-0 start at home this season, as they improved to 16-5 (8-2 CAA). Towson remained winless in conference play at 0-10 and 4-16 overall.
Led by a career-high 19 points by sophomore Luke Hancock, the Patriots saw four players score in double figures, including 15 points from junior Andre Cornelius. Senior Cam Long and junior Ryan Pearson contributed 12 and 10, respectively. Long added career highs in assists and steals as he posted eight assists and five steals. The Tigers were led by 19 points from Rashawn Polk.
For the second straight game, the Patriots used a big run spanning across halves to pull away for good. On Thursday, it was a 23-0 stretch spanning more than eight minutes which ultimately sealed the outcome.
Held scoreless for three and a half minutes, Morrison ended the drought with an emphatic overhead dunk at the 16:34 mark. The Tigers, though, opened the game on a 7-2 run and led until the 14:10 mark when Long’s fastbreak layup on a feed from Cornelius tied the game at seven. That was part of a 10-0 run which shifted the score to 12-7 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. Mason’s lead held until a 3-pointer from Polk tied it at 13. The Patriots would take it back, but down 18-15, the Tigers hit back-to-back treys to retake the advantage.
It would stay that way until Hancock hit both free throws to put the Patriots up 24-23, sparking a run of 13 unanswered points that would keep the Tigers off the scoreboard for the final 4:10 of the first half. Hancock scored nine points to lead all scorers, in a half marked more by a 9-to-2 turnover differential in favor of Mason than offensive efficiency. Mason held a 40.6-to-36.4 percent field goal shooting advantage of the Tigers, including a 20-6 lead in scoring in the paint.
The run extended out of the locker room, with Mason scoring eight more points before the Tigers got on the board in the second half, a Philmore layup four minutes into the period. Mason led by 23 before a run by the Tigers cut the gap to 13 with less than 12 minutes remaining. Mason opened it up to a 30-point lead as the Patriots used a 19-2 run.
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