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George Mason downs William & Mary 70-56

Monday - 1/2/2012, 4:17pm  ET

FAIRFAX, Va. - Andre Cornelius scored 20 points off the bench to help George Mason beat William & Mary 70-56 on Monday in the return to Colonial Athletic Association play for both teams.

Mike Morrison scored 14 points and Ryan Pearson added 11 points for the Patriots (10-4, 2-0), winners of three straight. The Patriots trailed the two-win Tribe by 10 points midway through the first half and were down 29-22 with less than three minutes remaining before intermission. Cornelius drilled two of his five 3-pointers and scored eight points during a closing 10-2 run as George Mason led 32-31 at halftime.

The momentum continued in the second half as another Cornelius bucket capped the run. The Tribe (2-12, 0-2) committed four of their 18 turnovers in decisive stretch. The Patriots held the Tribe without a point for over six minutes after halftime and without a field goal for the opening 8:04.

Marcus Thornton led the Tribe with 22 points.

Thornton knocked down five consecutive shots and scored 15 points in the first half. His back-to-back 3-pointers keyed a 13-2 first half surge as the Tribe took advantage of Pearson's early foul trouble. The Patriots leading scorer and rebounder, coming off a career-high 35 points in Friday's road win over Charleston, only scored two points before halftime, but notched six of the Patriots eight points coming out of halftime. George Mason's lead eventually ballooned to 63-44.

Cornelius finished 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and the Patriots collectively shot 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range after connecting on 8 of 16 3-pointers in the win over Charleston.

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