By Angelo Brussich, Assistant Sports Editor
The Hofstra men's basketball team was defeated by George Mason 72-62 in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference game at the Patriot Center in Virginia.
The Pride (8-18, 2-12 CAA) held a slim lead at 32-31 through the first 20 minutes of play largely due to stifling defense. Hofstra held George Mason (20-6, 12-2 CAA) without a field goal for the last 5:51 of play heading into the half.
Senior guard Mike Moore led the way for the Pride in the first half with 10 points. He finished the game with 18 to lead all scorers where the Pride had a relatively balanced offensive attack.
Moore still stands as the CAA's leading scorer, averaging 19.3 points per game.
Hofstra was utizlizing a small line up to compliment Moore, including junior guard Stevie Mejia and senior guard Dwan McMillan. The speed combination was creating an effective attack for the Pride on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.
Mejia finished the night with 11 points while McMillan added four points and five assists.
George Mason's strong offense is predicated on high scoring runs, and through the first half the Pride was able to control and contain the Patriots attack.
Hofstra created 14 George Mason turnovers, but only managed to score nine points off the takeaways.
In the second half George Mason seemed to have figured out the Pride's defensive pressure and was able to score 40 points behind strong play from senior forward Ryan Pearson. Pearson would finish the game with 16 points on 7-9 shooting.
Pearson is also close to the top of the CAA scoring lead as he ranks third in the conference with 17.7 points per game
Hofstra matched George Mason's attack for much of the half not allowing the Patriots to get a lead of more than six through the first 15 minutes. The Pride was able to take the lead at 56-54, but it was short lived as George Mason went on an 18-6 scoring run to finish out the game, and defeat Hofstra by 10 points.
Hofstra head coach Mo Cassara was not available for comment after the game.
Hofstra is back in action Saturday at 4 p.m. against CAA preseason favorites Drexel in Philadelphia.