George Mason edged at George Washington, 83-74
George Mason (18-11, 8-8) shot the ball well and controlled the glass, but could not overcome a hot-shooting George Washington club, falling to the host Colonials 83-74 on Sunday afternoon in the Smith Center.
The Patriots made 55.2 percent (32-58) of their field goal attempts, held a +9 (35-26) edge on the glass and limited the Colonials to just three offensive rebounds.
But George Washington (16-13, 8-8) shot 53.3 percent (16-30) in the second half, forced 14 Mason turnovers and held a 17-2 edge in points off turnovers for the game.
“We lost today to a very good, well-coached team,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “They executed every time we made a run. They exploited mismatches, found the open guy and hit big shots. They create dilemmas, but from our perspective, we need to find a way to buckle down and get stops down the stretch. We also need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot with unforced turnovers.”
Mason remains tied for sixth in the conference standings with the Colonials and La Salle (8-8) with two regular season games remaining.
Senior Marquise Moore led the Patriots with his 11th 20-point effort of the season, pouring in 20 points (9-17 FG), seven rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes on the floor.
Moore has now surpassed 1,200 career points (1,208) and has moved into 23rd on the all time Mason scoring list.
Freshman Ian Boyd chipped in a career-best 15 points and made 6-of-9 field goal attempts, while sophomore Jaire Grayer added 14 points (6-13 FG) and four rebounds. Redshirt-senior Jalen Jenkins posted 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 24 minutes of work.
The Patriots made their first three shots to jump ahead 7-3, but the Colonials responded with an 8-0 run to build an 11-7 lead at the 12:47 mark of the first half. Mason went back up three at 16-13, but from there, the teams traded blows back and forth over the final 10 minutes of the stanza. The game was tied on seven occasions over those final minutes, with GW taking a 37-36 lead into the break.
The Colonials extended their edge to five at 46-41 and pushed ahead by seven (50-43) at the 15:03 mark of the second half. Mason rallied with a 6-0 spurt to move within one (50-49), but George Washington extended the lead back to six (62-56) and went up 10 (77-67) with 3:28 to play.
The Patriots cut the lead to five (77-72) on a lay-in from Grayer with 1:29 to go, but Mason could not move any closer for the remainder of the contest.
Mason will play its final home game of the 2016-17 when the Patriots host Duquesne on Senior Night Wednesday. Tip-off between the Patriots and Dukes is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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