Big run pushes St. Bonaventure past George Mason

george masonGeorge Mason could not hold on to a second-half lead inside the Reilly Center, falling to St. Bonaventure 74-65 in front of a near-sellout crowd in Western New York.

The Patriots (13-9, 2-7 A-10) led 41-38 at the 16:58 mark of the second half, but from there, the Bonnies (14-8, 6-3 A-10) rallied with a 23-4 spurt over the next nine minutes to build a 61-45 edge with 7:52 to play.

“From our perspective, I thought our guys really battled and competed,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “I think there was a four-minute stretch where we struggled to get a stop and the lead got to 8-10. That’s where we need to button down defensively and execute. You also have to give credit to the Bonnies – they made some big shots. I thought we did better against their 1-3-1 zone, but we didn’t hit shots when we needed to.”

Junior Javon Greene – who entered the game ranked top-10 in the A-10 in scoring – poured in a team-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists in nearly a full game (39:15) on the floor.

Sophomore Jordan Miller chipped in a solid 15 points, eight rebounds and a team-high three assists, while fellow sophomore Jamal Hartwell II tallied 13 points and made four 3-pointers on the day.

After being out-rebounded by 20 against the Bonnies in Fairfax on Jan. 8, Mason was +1 (37-36) on the glass Saturday, including a 13-10 edge in offensive rebounds. The Patriots dished out 14 assists on 23 made field goals in the game.

Mason and St. Bonaventure played to a 12-12 tie over the game’s first eight minutes before back-to-back 3-pointers – including a 4-point play – by Hartwell II helped Mason take a 25-21 advantage with 8:15 to go in the stanza. SBU battled back to tie the game at 30-30 and took a 37-34 edge into the break.

After the 23-4 run put the Bonnies ahead midway through the second half, Mason eventually scored six straight to pull within seven (69-62). But the Patriots could not get a stop on the next possession and the Bonnies held on for the win on Homecoming in Olean.

Mason now takes a midweek bye before returning to action next Sunday (Feb. 9) with a contest at Massachusetts. Tip-off in Amherst is set for 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network.


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