EMMITSBURG -- Mount St. Mary's played its first home game last night but ran into a George Mason team that proved too big and too strong.
Boasting a front line of 6-foot-11, 6-10 and 6-7 players, the Patriots dominated the inside after a slow start and rolled to an 83-70 win before 2,550 at Knott Arena.
Robert Dykes, a 6-7, 225-pound forward, scored a game-high 18 points -- 12 in the second half -- and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Patriots. The Mount (1-4) was led by John Miller's 17 points.
The Patriots, who defeated Miami before losing at East Tennessee State, dominated the boards, 53-40. The team also blocked 13 shots, 10 in the second half.
"We knew they were going inside, and that's what really hurt us," Mount St. Mary's coach Jim Phelan said. "Early on, we kept them from second shots, but then they got interested in their rebounding, and the offensive boards toward the end of the first half was the difference."
The Mount took a 14-7 lead that was capped by a soaring slam dunk by Alex Watson (13 points, nine rebounds) over George Mason forward Mitch Madden.
But the Patriots, held without a field goal for the first 4 minutes, 40 seconds, began pounding the ball inside and eventually tied the game at 17.
The half was back and forth before the Patriots scored the last seven points to take a 37-32 lead.
"The first six to eight minutes, they played like a team and we were just cruising," said George Mason coach Ernie Nestor. "Henri Abrams [6-11 backup center who had eight points and two blocks in the half] gave us a big spark off the bench."