Nov. 22, 1997

Staples Leads Virginia Over George Mason

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Curtis Staples scored 23 points and Virginia used a 25-7 run bridging the halves to beat George Mason 60-45 Saturday, the Cavaliers' 41st consecutive home victory against an in-state team.

Norman Nolan added 13 points and 16 rebounds and Monte Marcaccini had a career-high 12 points for Virginia (2-1), which won despite 27 turnovers.

George Mason (1-1) was led by Ahmad Dorsett with 12 points, all on 3-pointers. The Patriots turned it over 23 times and shot 30.8 percent in the second game of coach Jim Larranaga's tenure as head coach.

The Patriots were without Demetrius Somerville, their top returning scorer from last season, who broke his leg and will miss the season. Larranaga started three freshmen, a sophomore and senior Leighton Henry.

Staples gave Virginia the lead for good at 16-15, hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing with 6:38 to play in the first half. The shot started a 15-5 spurt to end the half, with Staples adding seven more of the points.

Staples made five 3-pointers and has 15 in three games, leaving him two shy of becoming the 27th player in NCAA history to make 300 3-pointers.

Staples had 15 points after a brutally sloppy first half in which the teams combined for 16 field goals and 30 turnovers. The Patriots shot 31.8 percent and had 14 miscues; Virginia shot 33.3 percent and had 16 turnovers.

Virginia's last home loss against a team from Virginia came on Dec. 2, 1978, when Old Dominion beat the Cavaliers 65-61.