Carlos Yates worked on his offense last night, scoring 20 of his game-high 28 points in the first half in leading George Mason to a convincing 86-59 triumph over struggling East Carolina in an ECAC South game before 2,005 at George Mason Fieldhouse.
George Mason's second straight impressive victory gave the hosts an overall record of 10-8 and conference mark of 5-3.
Mason has been guilty of inconsistency much of the season, and back-to-back wins -- it beat Navy, 78-74, Thursday night -- may go a long way toward building momentum for the stretch run.
"I'm glad to get back-to-back wins," Patriots Coach Joe Harrington said. "We want to be more consistent, and tonight was a good team win. Everyone contributed."
"Consistency is what we want. Concentrate on the floor and execute," said Yates. "This is the time to start that run for the postseason and right now we're on a good roll.
"Mike (Dufrene) and Warren (Green) had good defensive games, Ricky (Wilson) and Rob (Rose) played well again offensively and our inside game is getting stronger."
Yates made his first seven shots from the field as Mason quickly opened a 20-10 lead.
East Carolina (5-12, 0-6), which has lost 11 straight ECAC regular-season games, tried to run with the Patriots, a move that put the visitors in a deep hole early.
The Pirates shot a respectable 50 percent in the first 20 minutes but George Mason's rebounding domination enabled it to get more shots and more easy baskets.
Rose, coming off a 21-point effort against Navy, made only one of five field goal tries in the half but got 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-6 junior finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds, which broke the school record of 17 set by Mike Shannon against Old Dominion in 1982. Mason had a 50-27 rebounding advantage.
Scott Hardy and Keith Sledge came off the bench to give East Carolina a shot in the arm in the first half, and Leon Bass (20 points) got free for some inside baskets.
But the Patriots responded. Yates had six more points, Rose, Wilson (12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) and Brian Miller (11 points) each added two points during a 19-9 run for a 37-23 lead at the four-minute mark.
"They were playing me one on one," Yates said. "Maybe they thought they could stop me straight up. When I see the double teams and boxes, I look to pass. When I get some one on one, I can get my shots."
With a comfortable lead, Harrington rested his regulars and ECU managed to cut the deficit to 39-30 by halftime.
But Mason began the second half in much the same manner as it did the first. Rose tossed in three corner jumpers and Wilson scored for an 8-0 burst and a 47-30 lead.
The Patriots continued to work for good shots and play sound defense until Warren Green's basket opened up a 20-point lead, 56-36, with just more than 14 minutes remaining.
"Green has really helped us defensively since he has been starting," said Harrington. "I'd like to see him get a few more baskets (he is averaging one point a game) but he's doing fine.
"Rebounding was the key; Rose set a school record and the other guys did a good job. We had talked about rebounding a lot lately in practice."
Mason plays American at Fort Myer Monday night in a game Yates said is important for the Patriots.
"We have to keep this intensity up and AU will be tough for us," he said. "They are no slouches."