HARRISONBURG, VA., JAN. 26 -- James Madison's gifted backcourt outperformed George Mason's talented front line this afternoon, leading the Dukes to an 86-67 Colonial Athletic Association win before 7,500 at Convocation Center.
Guard Steve Hood scored 25 points and guard Fess Irvin added 20 for the Dukes, who took command in the opening half to win their sixth straight and improve to 11-6 overall, 6-0 in the CAA.
George Mason (7-12, 4-3) shot just 33 percent from the floor in the first half, falling behind 36-22. The deficit grew to 24 on three occasions in the second half as the Patriots had their three-game winning streak halted. They had won their last three in Harrisonburg.
"We got whipped," George Mason Coach Ernie Nestor said. "No blocking out, not competing on the post, not competing when the ball went up. When you get the ball down low, you should score 60 or 70 percent or come away with a foul. And we didn't do either."
James Madison Coach Lefty Driesell has called George Mason's front line the league's best, but forward Byron Tucker and center Robert Dykes combined for just 10 points in the first half. Dykes broke loose for 22 after intermission to finish with a game-high 26, but the Patriots weren't able to stop the Dukes' guards.
"I thought it was one of our better ballgames of the year," Driesell said. "George Mason is a much better basketball team than they played tonight. I thought our defense was excellent, particularly in the first half. And I thought we ran our offense well."