COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 16 points, Jalen Smith had 12 points and 10 rebounds and No. 6 Maryland overwhelmed previously unbeaten George Mason 86-63 on Friday night.
The Terrapins (5-0) closed the first half with a 19-2 run to go up by 12 and coasted to the finish against the Patriots, who went 8 for 30 (27 percent) from the floor after halftime.
This was the last of five straight home games for the Terps to open the season, and they won all of them by at least 18 points. The last time Maryland won five in a row by double figures was in the 1998-99 season.
Smith was held scoreless over the first 16 minutes but ended up with his third double-double of the season. Aaron Wiggins scored 15 and 6-foot-10 freshman Makhi Mitchell had 12 points and eight rebounds — all in the second half.
AJ Wilson scored 19 for the Patriots (5-1), who were off to the most successful start in school history.
George Mason’s campus in Fairfax, Virginia, is only 34 miles south of College Park. But the difference in the programs can be measured by Maryland’s 9-0 record against the Patriots.
After getting off to a slow in what has become a potentially worrisome pattern, the Terrapins ended the first half with a flourish to take a 43-31 lead.
Maryland trailed by as many as seven points early and was down 29-24 before turning it around with a flurry of shots from a variety of spots.
Cowan and Wiggins each connected from beyond the arc, Smith popped a 15-footer and Cowan, Eric Ayala and Smith contributed layups. Maryland also made five free throws during the pivotal surge.
George Mason: The Patriots have too many injuries to keep pace with the deep Terrapins, but this squad does appear to have enough talent to make some noise in the Atlantic-10.
Maryland: Playing at home against lesser foes wasn’t much of a challenge for the Terps, who should receive more of a test at the upcoming Orlando Invitational.
The Patriots played without senior guard Justin Kier, who will miss the first few weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Kier and senior guard Ian Boyd, who’s out for the year after undergoing wrist surgery, have combined for 1,632 points and 799 rebounds. In addition, freshman Bahaide Haidara (wrist) is out 4-6 weeks.
George Mason faces Old Dominion on Monday in the Cayman Islands Classic.
Maryland gets a five-day break before facing Temple on Thanksgiving morning in Orlando, Florida.
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