Tonight, for the first time in 12 years, George Mason defeated James Madison on the road. The Patriots never trailed the Dukes, beating their ECAC South opponents, 64-53, before 6,900.
George Mason star Carlos Yates suffered a mild injury five minutes into the game when he took a knee to the head from James Madison's Eric Esch. Yates returned to the game, playing most of the second half, and finished with eight points.
George Mason (8-6, 3-2 league) built a 13-point lead twice in the first half. The Patriots went up, 31-18, with 2:55 left on two free throws by Ricky Wilson, and led, 33-24, at the half.
George Mason, choosing to run whenever possible against the younger Dukes, never let its opponent get closer than five points. James Madison (7-8, 1-2) scored seven straight points to cut its deficit to 54-49 with 3:23 left, but the Dukes couldn't get any closer and were forced to foul. George Mason scored the next six points on free throws to make it 60-49 with 28 seconds left.
Three Patriots scored in double figures. Wilson had 18 points, Rob Rose 17 and Mike Dufrene 11.
George Mason, fifth in the nation in free throw percentage, made 22 of 28 foul shots.
James Madison relied on sophomore John Newman (23 points) for much of its scoring. George Kingland scored eight points, no other Duke more than four. James Madison had 19 turnovers.
Dukes Coach Lou Campanelli said, "We're too young to be a real solid basketball team. We were never able to develop our offense. GMU had a lot of balance."
"They came out keying on Carlos and, fortunately, Ricky Wilson and Rob Rose played very well," said George Mason Coach Joe Harrington. "Again, Brian Miller came off the bench to help us."