George Mason closes out 67-63 road win at Dayton
The victory improves the Patriots to 4-0 on the road in league play and 6-1 overall. It’s a big one for the league standings, as A-10 contender Dayton now drops to 4-2 in the league (12-7 overall).
Mason trailed 63-60 with 2:58 and the crowd was on their feet, but the Patriots went on to close the game on a 7-0 run and hold Dayton scoreless over the final minutes of the contest.
Redshirt-junior Jarred Reuter notched a team-high 14 points (6-8 FG) and hit the final two free throws to ice the game in the final five seconds. He also chipped in four rebounds, two assists and two steals in a season-high 28 minutes.
Senior Otis Livingston II added 13 points (5-11 FG) and a team-high four assists, while Justin Kier finished with 12 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Mason limited Dayton – which ranked third in the nation in field goal percentage (.504) – to just 43.3 percent (13-30) and 8-of-27 (.296) from beyond the arc.
The Patriots shot 54.5 percent (12-22) in the deciding second half and outscored the Flyers 36-30 in the period.
The loss drops Dayton to 9-2 at home. The other defeat was to No. 22 Mississippi State.
Dayton made seven of its first nine shots and built a 16-10 lead six minutes into the game. From there, Mason started to get stops and used a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to jump in front by six (26-20). The Flyers’ Dwayne Cohill nailed back-to-back triples to tie it up at 26-26 at the 6:29 mark, and at that point, Mason could not put the ball in the basket over the next 4+ minutes.
The Patriot drought helped the Flyers go up 33-28 with under two minutes to go in the opening stanza, but Boyd nailed a 3-pointer for the Green & Gold, which kept the deficit at two (33-31) at the break. Mason shot just 38.7 percent in the first half and made 3-of-12 3-pointers, despite running good offense which led to a number of quality shots around the perimeter.
Dayton extended the lead to four (37-33) early in the second half, but Mason answered with a 6-0 spurt to take a 40-37 lead. The teams went back and forth over the next 5+ minutes, before Mason took a 51-47 edge at the 9:39 mark after a nifty lay-in from Reuter.
Mason led 58-55 after a big 3-pointer from Kier with 6:20 to go, but from there, the Flyers used an 8-2 spurt to go back up 3 (63-60) with under three minutes to go. Mason raced back with two straight buckets from Reuter and Ian Boyd to claim a 64-63 advantage and made it 65-63 after a 1-of-2 free throw trip for Kier.
Mason then got three key stops down the stretch and Reuter made the final two free throws to secure the win for the Green & Gold.
Mason returns home Saturday for the first of two Revolutionary Rivalry contests vs. George Washington. Tip-off between the Patriots and Colonials is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised locally on MASN2 and streamed nationally on ESPN+.