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updated: 12/22/2012 8:46 PM

Mason leads Drake past Eastern Illinois 74-56

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Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Micah Mason had 19 points and six assists and Drake continued its torrid 3-point shooting during a 74-56 victory over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (6-5), who came into the game ranked fifth in the country with 9.1 3-pointers per game, were 13 of 22 beyond the arc and shot 56 percent overall from the floor. They also hit 15 of 18 free throws.

Drake also got 14 points from Ben Simons, 11 from Chris Hines and 10 from Seth VanDeest.

Sherman Blanford had 18 points and seven rebounds for Eastern Illinois (3-10), which outrebounded Drake 25-19 but committed 19 turnovers. Morris Woods added 10 points for the Panthers.

Drake trailed 26-24 before scoring nine straight points to close the first half. A 3-pointer and layup by Mason to start the second half extended the lead to 12 points, and the Bulldogs later added a 14-2 run to make it 61-41 with 9:42 remaining.

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