Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
Sherrod Wright scored 13 of George Mason's first 19 points to help the Patriots cruise to a 11-point win against UMBC.
Patriots guard Sherrod Wright exploded early for George Mason, scoring the team's first five points and 13 of the team's first 19. Wright finished the night with 23 points.
But down as many as 19 in the first quarter, UMBC hung around, and closed the game to 10 at halftime after a 9-0 run to end the first half. Retrievers guard Brian Neller, who finished with nine points, nailed two key 3-pointers to help UMBC close the gap while the Patriots were held quiet at the end of the half.
The Retrievers got within six points in the early going of the second half, but Wright and the Patriots would not let UMBC's comeback bid get any closer. Forward Marko Gujanicic, who finished with 14 points off the bench, and forward Erik Copes, who finished with 10 points and four rebounds, helped keep UMBC at bay.