The Patriots (5-2) led by as many as 16 and 35-22 at halftime.
The Rams (1-6) pulled ahead 38-37 with 12:44 remaining, with Xavier Munford scoring eight points in the 16-2 run, but their lead lasted just 21 seconds.
The game was tied three more times before George Mason built a five-point lead, capped by a Wright layup with 3:09 left.
Rhode Island got within two, at 54-52 with 2:10 left, but missed its final three field goal attempts, including Nikola Malesevic's 3-point try with 3 seconds remaining.
George Mason had a 50-31 rebounding advantage, and its 19 offensive boards resulted in 22 second-chance points.
Munford's 24 points led the Rams, who made only 13 of 26 free throw attempts.
Florida State's student government has passed a resolution discouraging Seminoles fans from wearing Native American headdresses at games.
The second annual Gavitt Tipoff Games, eight games between members of the Big East and Big Ten to be played Nov. 14-18, will feature Villanova at Purdue in the opener.
Michael Lewis is leaving his assistant coaching job at Butler to take the same position at Nebraska under Tim Miles.