George Mason loses 79-67 to No. 17 Iowa State

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2013 at 7:57 pm •  Published: December 22, 2013

HONOLULU (AP) — George Mason just couldn't keep up with Iowa State's fast pace in the second half.

The Patriots lost 79-67 to the 17th-ranked Cyclones in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday despite holding Iowa State to its second-lowest scoring total this season and its second-worst half in the first 20 minutes.

"They just asserted themselves," George Mason coach Paul Hewitt said. "We turned the ball over early in the half and they got themselves a lead, got themselves a working margin."

Iowa State didn't need all of its high-powered offense to remain undefeated.

Georges Niang scored 22 points and the Cyclones (9-0) still managed to extend their winning streak. Iowa State — the top scoring team in the country at 90.9 points per game — was one of 10 undefeated teams in Division I at the start of Sunday.

"They slowed us down," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said of George Mason. "We had really good looks against their zone, it just didn't drop."

Hoiberg said his team struggled during its first game on the islands.

"It's always tough to get legs under you after 2½ days of having activities, going out to Pearl Harbor and experiencing that, and guys at the beach a little bit," Hoiberg said.

Melvin Ejim, Iowa State's leading scorer going into the game, had 14 points and 11 rebounds while DeAndre Kane had 13 points and eight assists.

Patrick Holloway scored 19 points and Byron Allen had 14 for George Mason (5-5).

The game was played amid tight security among arrangements made by the White House for President Barack Obama to attend the tournament's second game, Oregon State against Akron. Obama's brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Beavers.

"I've never seen it take 25 minutes to get into a game," Niang said. "That was pretty wild but Barack Obama is supposed to be here so I understand the principle behind that. That's pretty awesome when the president is around."

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