Fairfax, VA – Sherrod Wright had 21 points and five rebounds as George Mason used a quick second half run to defeat Hofstra, 57-46, on Saturday evening at the Patriot Center.
Hofstra got eight points and 12 rebounds from junior forward Stephen Nwaukoni, while sophomore guard Taran Buie led the Pride with 14 points. Senior guard Stevie Mejia was also in double figures with 10 points for Hofstra.
The loss drops the Pride’s record to 5-13 this season and 2-3 in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play. George Mason, which has won four of its last five games, improved to 11-7 and 4-2 in league action.
A tough shooting first half would see the Pride trail 31-23 at the break as Hofstra shot just 4-25 (16%) from the field in the first 20 minutes. Hofstra was able to stay close as they went to the free throw line 18 times, making 14 of them.
A three-pointer from Buie at the 14:45 mark of the first half would give the Pride an early 8-5 advantage before the Patriots went on an 11-0 run and led 16-8 following a layup from Bryon Allen with 9:05 left before halftime.
Hofstra’s solid free throw shooting kept the Pride close as the first half was winding down as their final 11 points of the half came from the charity stripe. That shooting helped Hofstra stay within eight despite shooting its lowest first half field goal percentage of the season.
Hofstra got right back into the contest as the Pride opened the second stanza on a 10-2 run as Nwaukoni fueled the run with six points. The run knotted the score at 33 with 14:58 left in regulation on a jumper from Mejia.
George Mason would regain the lead as the Patriots got a tip-in from Jonathan Arledge and a layup from Vertrail Vaughns to lead 41-36 heading into the under-12 media timeout with 10:45 left in the second half.
In all the Patriots would use a 10-2 scoring run to turn a one-point lead into a 47-38 advantage as Allen’s layup with 7:10 left gave George Mason the nine-point lead.
That would prove to be enough of a margin for George Mason as the home squad went on to win by 11.
Arledge added eight points and seven rebounds for George Mason.
The 31 free throws attempted by the Pride in the game were the second-most in a regulation game this season. Hofstra had 33 attempts at LIU Brooklyn (also 57 vs. Marshall in double overtime).
Hofstra returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Drexel at 7 p.m. That game begins a short two-game home stand as the Pride will host UNCW on Saturday (January 26) at 2 p.m. as well. For tickets call (516) HOF-TIXX.