RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Dre Smith hit his first seven 3-pointers Friday night and had a career-high 26 points to lead George Mason to a 73-62 win over James Madison in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
The Patriots, who reached the Final Four of the NCAA tournament last year, raised their record to 16-14. They advanced to a quarterfinal game against third-seeded Hofstra on Saturday. James Madison finished the season with a seven-game losing streak and 7-23 record.The Patriots took an early 20-15 lead before Pierre Curtis sparked the Dukes with six points during a 10-3 run that ended with George Mason leading 25-23 with 5:32 remaining in the half. A layup by Chris Flemming and a 3-pointer by Smith gave the Patriots a three-point lead and went into the half up 32-30.Smith began the second half with three consecutive 3-pointers, giving the Patriots a 41-32 lead with 17:11 remaining. The Dukes pulled to within three before Louis Birdsong's seven points sparked a 14-1 Patriots surged that stretched their lead to 57-41 with 9:56 remaining and the Dukes could get no closer than eight.Will Thomas added 14 points for George Mason, Birdsong had 11 and Folarin Campbell had 10.Curtis led the Dukes with 16 points, Joe Posey added 15 and Juwann James had 11.