HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- Loren Stokes scored 26 points and Hofstra
extended its home winning streak to 19 games with a 77-66 victory
over George Mason (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today; unranked AP) on Thursday night.
The Pride (21-5, 13-4 Colonial Athletic Association) tied No. 1
Duke for the second-longest home streak in the nation behind only
No. 5 Gonzaga, which has won 36 straight at home.
Hofstra's starters all scored in double figures and accounted
for all the points for the Pride as they won for the ninth time in
10 games. The win clinched a first-round bye for Hofstra in the CAA
Jai Lewis had 23 points for the Patriots (21-6, 14-3), who had
an eight-game winning streak snapped. George Mason has won 20 of
its last 24, with all the losses coming on the road. This one was
by two more points than the other three combined.
Hofstra used an impressive first half to take a 41-33 lead. The
Pride shot 54.8 percent (17-for-31) in the half and that was
against the league's best field-goal percentage defense. The
Patriots entered allowing opponents to shoot 37.8 percent,
sixth-best in the country.
Even though their shooting cooled off, the Pride still led 59-51
with 10:38 left on a basket by Adrian Uter.
The Patriots went on a 7-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Folarin
Campbell with 7:36 left. It was the first of three times George
Mason would get within three points.
The first two times, Stokes scored to restore the lead to five,
and the third time it was a drive by Antoine Agudio that made it
67-62 with 3:02 left. That basket started Hofstra's game-closing
12-4 run that the Pride capped by going 6-for-8 from the free throw
line over the final 1:06.
Lamar Butler had 14 points for the Patriots, whose starters all
average in double figures. Only Lewis and Butler were above 10 on
Hofstra finished 29-for-60 for the game (48.3 percent), the best
any team has shot against George Mason since Wake Forest hit 59.6
percent in the second game of the season.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.