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George Mason defense key in 67-44 win over American

George MasonGeorge Mason won its third straight game Tuesday night, using a strong defensive effort to power past American, 67-44.

The Patriots led 34-18 at the half, then outscored American 16-2 over the final six minutes to take the 23-point victory. The Eagles’ 44-point output marked a season low for a Mason opponent this season.

“This was a good win for us against an incredibly disciplined team that plays the right way,” head coach Kim English said. “They created some challenges on defense, especially switching. I’m really pleased with our ball security, our passing and our grit to end the game. We found a way to create baskets and create stops.”

Mason held the Eagles to 38.1 percent shooting on the night, including a 3-of-16 effort (.188) from beyond the arc. The Patriots also forced 17 Eagle turnovers and held a whopping 31-8 advantage in points off turnovers for the game.

The Patriots continued their much-improved work on the turnover front Tuesday, committing just seven miscues on the night. Mason has now tallied less than 10 turnovers in four of the past five contests.

Graduate student DeVon Cooper led the Patriots with a game-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting and tied a season high with five 3-pointers on just seven attempts (.714).

Fellow grad D’Shawn Schwartz tallied 15 points, made a trio of 3-pointers and dished out two assists, while junior Davonte Gaines notched nine points, five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.

Junior point guard Xavier Johnson dished out a game-high six assists and committed no turnovers in 30 minutes. Over his last two games, he’s tallied 15 assists and just three turnovers.

Fellow point guard Ronald Polite III added six points and two assists in his second game back from a hip injury this season.

Mason shot 45.5 percent overall (25-55) and made 10-of-28 triples (.357), marking the second-straight contest the Patriots have made double digit 3-pointers.

In addition, for the second straight contest, Mason never trailed in the game.

The Patriots wrap up non-conference play Thursday with a marquee contest at #24/24 Wisconsin. Tip-off in Madison is set for 7 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network.

augusta free press
augusta free press