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.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won't move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite