George Mason Holds Off Men's Basketball, 66-52

Dec. 8, 2010

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FAIRFAX, Va. - George Mason's Ryan Pearson made seven of his nine field-goal attempts to finish with a game-high 18 points and Luke Hancock scored all 13 of his points in the second half while handing out seven assists with four steals to lead the Patriots to a 66-52 non-conference home win Wednesday night at the Patriot Center.

After Greyhounds senior guard Jamal Barney opened the game with a baseline jumper, George Mason's Cam Long answered with a three-pointer to give the Patriots the lead and also push the senior guard over 1,000 points for his career. A pair of free throws by junior forward Shane Walker swung the lead back in Loyola's favor before the Patriots (7-2) scored eight straight to take the lead for good.

Seven minutes into the game the run had increased to 14-3 and George Mason led 19-7. Sophomore guard Robert Olson scored three straight baskets to get the Greyhounds (3-5) within six at 26-20 with 5:35 left, but Mason ended the half with seven straight points for the largest lead of the half at 36-23. Long (11 points) and Pearson (10) did most of the damage for the Patriots.

The inside play of Pearson and Hancock's scoring helped George Mason increase its lead to 22 at 56-34 with just over nine minutes remaining. Shots began to fall for the Greyhounds and Loyola scored 14 of the next 18 points to get within 12, trailing 60-48 with five minutes to play after Olson's sixth field goal of the game.

Twice the Greyhounds failed to capitalize on possessions to get the lead to 10 or less, before the Patriots scored six points around a three-pointer by freshman guard Dylon Cormier to end the scoring and the threat.

"They made some shots and it was a good learning experience for us," Greyhounds seventh-year head coach Jimmy Patsos said following the contest. "It was a good environment and we came out good after not starting so well in our last game. Now, we have to take everything we did tonight and translate it into a win on Saturday."

Pearson added four rebounds and two steals to his game-high point total to lead the Patriots. Lam finished with 15 points on the historic night as the only other player in double figures for the home team.

For the Greyhounds, Olson and junior forward Shane Walker shared team-high honors with 14 points and Walker added a game-high 10 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. Sophomore forward Erik Etherly came off the bench to score seven points with five rebounds, three steals and two blocks and junior forward Anthony Winbush matched his five boards.

After two road games, Loyola returns home Saturday to host Mount St. Mary's in Reitz Arena at 4 o'clock.