Madison's Steve Stielper recorded game highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds, including 10 points early in the second half, to lead the visiting Dukes to an 80-66 victory over George Mason last night.
Stielper, a 6-foot-8 center who totaled 102 points in three previous meetings with Mason, scored two 15-foot jumprs, a couple layups off inside moves and two free throws. Madison (2-0) extended a 41-34 intermission advantage to 57-46 with 12:59 remaining. The Patriots (0-2), who trailed throughout, never pulled within five points again.
"I missed a few easy shots. I couldhave had a few more points," said Stielper, the 10th-leading Division I scorer last season with a 25.7 average. "It doesn't matter our offense is predicated so I can score 10 and we can still win."
Still, the key to the Patriots' downfall was their 27 turnovers. Mason, which shot 56 percent from the field, made its first eight shots of the second half. But its seven-point halftime deficit grew to 11 because of eight turnovers over the same span.
Mason did pull with 63-58 with 8:10 left on a jumper by Tom Huffman and a drive by Terry Henderson. Madison ran off six unanswered points for a 71-60 lead and stalled for the final five minutes.
"We tried to push the ball into Gaddy too much, too early," said Mason Coach John Linn of 14 first-half turnovers.
"We turned the ball over about five straight times and they didn't even have a pressure defense. We're a young team, nervous. We've been running about three or four offenses. We're going to go down to about one or two . . . until we get it right.