FAIRFAX, Va. — Quan Jackson scored a career-high 16 points, including 12 in the second half, and Georgia Southern held George Mason to 29 percent shooting to post a 74-51 men’s basketball victory over the Patriots Tuesday night in EagleBank Arena.
Jackson shot 7-for-11 from the field and added three rebounds and a pair of steals for Georgia Southern (8-2), which is off to its best start since the 1992-93 season. Tookie Brown collected 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Mike Hughes notched 14 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Jake Allsmiller posted 12 points and two boards.
“Quan is 6-foot-3, but he has almost a 6-foot-9 wing span," GS coach Mark Byington said. "And when he dribbles, it's low to the ground and he can get in and out of things. We kept feeling like he was close to breaking out at certain times throughout the year, and I'm just happy for him. He's grown up a lot in the last year so I'm really happy with his maturity and the path he's on now.”
AJ Wilson tallied 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to lead George Mason (5-6), and Justin Kier finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
Georgia Southern held the Patriots to 16-of-56 shooting for the game, including 8-of-29 in the second half, and forced 21 turnovers.
The Eagles held Mason to 3-10 from the floor and forced five Patriot turnovers during a 19-6 run over a six-minute stretch in the first half. Allsmiller drained two 3-pointers for the Eagles at the other end, Hughes added a third and Brown’s transition layup gave GS a 25-12 cushion with 7:47 left in the period.
Mason trimmed the lead to four points before the Eagles capped the half with 9-2 spurt, and Hughes’ 3-pointer with two seconds left in the frame gave GS a 36-25 lead at the break. The Eagles scored the first seven points of the second half to open a 41-25 lead. All told, the Patriots missed 13 straight shots as the Eagles bridged a 16-2 run over the end of the first half and start of the second.
“Our message the last two days was that when you go on the road, you have to make a defensive statement," Byington said. "As a coach, you want to pick apart things, but this one is really hard to pick apart and find mistakes guys made. I was really happy that everybody who came in the game made an impact at different times."
"I thought BJ made a great impact in the first half, and Quan Jackson was tremendous tonight. Montae had some foul trouble, and I thought Coye stepped up and was solid. Tookie was going, Mike made some big shots and Jake did his thing, but it was probably as much of a total team effort and everybody being ready to play as we've had this year.”
The margin grew to as many as 28 points on Jackson’s 3-pointer from the wing with 3:50 to play. It was the Eagles’ largest margin of victory on the road since an 86-61 win at Furman in 2006.
The Eagles continue their cross-country voyage at CSU Bakersfield Saturday. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. ET, and the contest will be broadcast live on ESPN3.