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George Mason falls at St. Bonaventure

george masonGeorge Mason (11-5, 1-2) limited a potent St. Bonaventure scoring duo but it wasn’t enough, as the host Bonnies claimed victory over the Patriots, 82-72, on Saturdayinside the Reilly Center.

SBU’s Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley entered the game as the third highest scoring duo in the nation (43.8 ppg), but the Patriots keyed in and limited them to 15 points on the day. However, the Bonnies grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and Denzel Gregg notched 19 points and 12 boards to help SBU get the win.

The Patriots limited the excellent St. Bonaventure (10-5, 2-1) offense to 44.8 percent from the floor and 26.3 percent from long distance, but Mason was victimized by 15 turnovers and a first half in which the team shot 38.1 percent.

“We were beat on the offensive glass and turned the ball over too much,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “You can’t do that and win on the road. We wanted to limit Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley and we did a fairly good job of that, but Denzel Gregg and Idris Taqqee hurt us, especially on the glass.”

Three Patriots scored in double figures, led by senior guard Marquise Moore, who posted his ninth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Moore also tallied a team-high four assists and added three blocks in 37 minutes.

Sophomore Jaire Grayer continued his torrid play of late, pouring in 16 points while knocking down a season-best four 3-pointers on six attempts. The Flint, Mich., product also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a pair of shots. Redshirt-senior Jalen Jenkins chipped in 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

SBU held a +3 (39-36) advantage on the glass and turned their 15 offensive boards into a +3 (14-11) edge in second chance points. The Bonnies also held a 22-13 edge in bench scoring.

The two teams played to a 9-9 draw before the Bonnies used a 9-1 run over the next 3+ minutes to build an 18-10 lead. Mason fired back with a 6-0 spurt to pull within one (18-16), but again, the Bonnies got it back out to eight (26-18) with another run of 6-0. A Jaire Grayer 3-pointer cut the lead to three (26-23) with 6:24 to play in the half, but SBU posted 13 of the last 19 points of the stanza to head into the break ahead by nine (38-29).

The Patriots pulled to within six (45-39) on a 3-point play by Jenkins at the 15:06 mark of the second stanza and were again within six (63-57) after a Grayer 3-pointer with 7:29 to play. Grayer hit a runner to cut it to four (65-61) and the two teams then traded baskets over the next few minutes.

However, Mason could not get back closer than four for the remainder of the game and the Bonnies hung on for the victory.

The Patriots wrap up their two-game road trip with a Tuesday contest at Saint Joseph’s. The 7 p.m contest in Philadelphia will be televised live on the American Sports Network.

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