George Mason closes out 76-69 win at Davidson

george masonA pair of senior leaders made huge plays down the stretch to propel George Mason (16-8, 6-5) past Davidson (12-10, 5-6) Wednesday night inside Belk Arena.

Senior Jalen Jenkins finished with 23 points (9-13 FG) and made a number of key buckets down the stretch, while fellow senior Marquise Moore tallied his 14th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Moore put up five critical points in the final two minutes to propel the Patriots to victory.

“This was a great team victory,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “Our guys played exceptionally well, especially in the first half. If you’re going to win on the road against a quality team like Davidson, you have to do the things we did – make your free throws, limit free throws and make big plays at the end of the game. A number of our guys made those critical plays to help us get this win.”

The Patriots shot 53.3 percent (16-30) in the second half and held a +8 (41-33) edge overall on the glass for the game. Mason also committed just eight turnovers and forced 10 Davidson miscues. The Patriots held a 14-5 edge in points off turnovers and 11-3 advantage in second chance points for the game.

The Patriots scored the first six points of the game and led 9-3 after a 3-pointer from Moore. Davidson came back to tie it at nine, then proceeded to take their first lead (20-19) at the 8:52 mark of the first half.

Back-to-back triples from Jaire Grayer pushed Mason back up five (25-20) and the Patriots led by that margin (31-26) with 2:38 to play in the half. Mason took a 31-29 lead into the break.

The Wildcats cut the Mason lead to two on four occasions early in the second half but could not push ahead. From there, Mason used a 7-2 spurt to push ahead by seven (51-44) at the 12:05 mark of the stanza.

Davidson stormed back with a 7-0 run to tie it up at 51-51, but Mason used a 6-0 spurt to move ahead 57-51. Davidson scored five in a row to re-take the lead at 63-59 with 5:05 to go.

On the very next play, Jenkins converted a lay-in, then Grayer stole the ensuing inbounds pass and banked home a jumper to tie the game at 63.

Two-straight critical buckets from Jenkins pushed Mason ahead 67-63, and after Davidson cut it to two (67-65), Moore hit back to back huge buckets. First, he nailed a 3-pointer to make it 70-65. Then, after Davidson scored, Moore hit an elbow jumper to put the Pats up 72-67.

The Wildcats would not move closer than seven for the remander of the game.

Mason begins a three-game homestand Saturday (Feb. 11) when the Patriots host Fordham on Homecoming Weekend. Tip-off on the American Sports Network is set for 6 p.m.

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

augusta free press
augusta free press news