George Mason 129, Troy St. 119
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ The Paul Westhead era at George Mason began the way it was expected to Saturday night when the Patriots set a school record for points in a 129-119 victory over Troy State.
Kenwan Alexander, who averaged 3.0 points per game last season, had 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead George Mason, which went 7-21 each of the last two years. Westhead, known for his run-and-gun style at Loyola Marymount, took over at George Mason in April and he had the Patriots running in the opener like he had been there for years.
The loss was the first game in Division I for Troy State, which plays the same style of basketball and set an all-division record two seasons ago with 258 points in one game.
George Mason averaged 68 points per game last season and that’s what it had at halftime as Troy State led by four at the break. The Patriots trailed 81-77 with 16:46 left and went on a 12-0 run with Donald Ross ending it with consecutive 3-pointers.
Two more 3-pointers by Ross keyed a 12-0 run that gave George Mason a 106-87 lead with 10:08 left.
Ross, who averaged 9.0 points last season, finished with 23 on 7-for-11 shooting feom 3-point range. The Patriots were 12-for-37 from there with freshman Riley Trone going 3-for-20.
Seven players finished in double figures for the Patriots, who outrebounded the Trojans 83-58. Khyl Horton led George Mason with 18 rebounds and Andrew Fingall had 16.
George Mason’s previous high game was 126 points against Gallaudet in 1975. The Patriots had 13 games last season when they did not reach 68 points, their halftime total in the Westhead opener.
Derrick Bristol had 21 points to lead eight Trojans in double figures.
Troy State moved into Division I after reaching the Division II national championship game last season.