FAIRFAX, Va. - Sherrod Wright scored 23 points and Marko Gujanicic added 16 points and 10 rebounds as the George Mason men's basketball team held off Northern Iowa, 76-70, on Saturday.
George Mason (3-0) took a 51-48 lead with 9:14 to play in the game and never trailed again to prevail at the Patriot Center.
The glaring statistic that haunted the Panthers in the loss was a 36-25 disadvantage in rebounds. George Mason grabbed 13 offensive boards and scored 17 second-chance points in the win.
Other than that, the game was pretty even throughout.
Matt Bohannon led the Panthers (1-2) with 19 points, while Seth Tuttle added 17 points and seven rebounds and Chip Rank chipped in 14 points and four rebounds off the bench.
George Mason never trailed in the final 9 minutes but Northern Iowa closed to within one on several possessions. The Panthers though couldn't get over the hump.
Patrick Holloway's triple with 2:09 left to play made it a four-point game and the Patriots hit 7-of-8 from the line in the final 2 minutes to preserve the win. Holloway was the third Patriot player in double-figures as he finished with 11 in his first career start.
Deon Mitchell had 12 points to give the Panthers four in double-figures but no other UNI player had more than six points.
Northern Iowa is back in action Friday at the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin islands. The Panthers will take on Loyola-Maramount in the first round.