<
>

Kent State 68, George Mason 62

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- Omni Smith had 18 points and seven assists as Kent State defeated George Mason 68-62 Saturday.

Haminn Quaintances basket put Kent State up for good, 61-60, with 3:19 remaining. Armon Gates then added a 3-pointer to give the Golden Flashes a 64-60 lead at the 2:12 mark.

Gates finished with 13 points and Julian Sullinger added 12 for Kent State (17-9), which has won eight of its last nine.

Will Thomas and Darryl Monroe each scored 12 points to lead George Mason (14-13). With 10 rebounds, Thomas surpassed the 600-rebound milestone in his career.

After taking a 60-59 lead with 3:50 remaining on a Folarin Campbell 3-pointer, the Patriots committed three turnovers and shot just 1 of 4 down the stretch.

Tim Burns, who hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a 12-2 Patriot run, gave George Mason a 51-48 lead with 9:56 remaining as the Patriots erased a seven-point deficit.

The Golden Flashes shot 58.3 percent in the first half en route to a 38-33 halftime lead. George Mason, meanwhile, struggled, shooting just 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) over the final nine minutes of the half after hitting 9 of its first 14 shots.

Quaintances two blocked shots moved him into 3rd place all-time in Kent State history for blocks in a season.

Kent State scored 37 bench points, while George Mason managed just 15.