Rhode Island holds off George Mason 71-56

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) E.C. Matthews had 18 points and Jared Terrell added 16 as Rhode Island held off George Mason for a 71-56 victory on Saturday.

Jarvis Garrett chipped in 13 points for Rhode Island (19-6, 11-3 Atlantic 10 Conference).

The Rams, who have won eight of their last nine games, remain in a tie atop the conference with Virginia Commonwealth. Dayton, which had shared the top spot, fell to Duquesne 83-73 on Saturday.

Rhode Island held a 41-27 lead at the break and was up 51-37 midway of the second half. The Patriots had a 7-2 run to close to 53-44 with 7:23 left. Matthews hit a jumper to start an 11-5 run to pull ahead 64-49 with 3:03 remaining. The Rams limited George Mason to seven points in the final 3:59.

Shevon Thompson had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Isaiah Jackson added 11 points for George Mason (8-18, 3-11).