FAIRFAX, Va. — Sherrod Wright had 19 points and Bryon Allen added 18 as George Mason avoided another second-half collapse in a 69-60 win over Richmond on Wednesday night.
The win was the first home conference victory for the Patriots (10-17, 3-10 Atlantic-10), and first in their building since an 80-77 win over Penn on Jan. 2. The loss was the second in six games for the Spiders (18-10, 8-5) since losing leading scorer Cedrick Lindsay for the season with a knee injury.
The win did not come easy for rthe Patriots, who have lost eight games they led at halftime. Erik Copes made a layup to open the second half and give George Mason its biggest lead of the game at 39-16. But Kendall Anthony, who missed 10 of his 12 first-half shots, made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points over the next 8 minutes as the Spiders cut the deficit to single digits.
"He's a terrific player," George Mason coach Paul Hewitt said of Anthony, who would finish with 23 points on 9-of-24 shooting. "We didn't defend him the right way a couple times, and he made us pay. As the half wore on, we started to do a better job and I'm sure he missed some shots too."
Richmond would draw to within 55-50 on a runner in the lane by ShawnDre' Jones with 5:15 remaining, but George Mason answered with a 7-0 run capped by a jumper by Patrick Holloway at 2:30 and the Spiders would draw no closer than seven the rest of the way.
"We're moving the ball and just taking better care of the ball," said Hewitt, adding that his team wanted to "make sure we don't turn over the ball and get shots."
Richmond struggled early, missing 15 of their first 20 shots, including 8 of 9 3-point attempts, as the Patriots built a 23-11 lead with 5:21 remaining in the first half. George Mason shot 59 percent in the half and would use a 12-0 run to push the margin to 37-16 at halftime. The Spiders shot 24 percent in the half and went scoreless over the final 4:15.
Wright, who was honored before the game for eclipsing 1,500 career points, hit 7 of 10 shots to continue his hot shooting of late. The redshirt senior guard is shooting 58 percent from the field over the last seven games. The Patriots as a team shot a season-high 56 percent.
"Coach has been telling me to keep on attacking and when I see seams, make plays for myself and others," Wright said. "I'm just out there playing hard and my teammates are putting me in good position to attack the lane."
Terry Allen, who had averaged 14.4 points since Lindsay tore the meniscus in both knees in a loss to Virginia Commonwealth on Feb. 1, was limited to two points on 1-of-5 shooting.