George Mason extends winning streak to nine with 75-59 win over Prairie View

george masonThe George Mason University men’s basketball team put on a rebounding clinic during a 75-59 victory over Prairie View A&M Thursday afternoon inside EagleBank Arena.

The Patriots grabbed a season-best 59 rebounds and held a +30 (59-29) margin on the glass, both marks the program has not hit in more than a decade. The gallant glass performance helped Mason extend its winning streak to nine games heading into the Dec. 30 A-10 opener vs. VCU.

It marks just the second time since 1983-84 the Patriots have ended the non-conference slate with 10 victories

“This is a tough game coming out of exams and playing at noon, but for the majority of the game we handled our business,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We were very unselfish on offense and our run in the second half was fueled by our defensive intensity. We were a bit sloppy at times but I was pleased with our overall effort today.”

Guards Otis Livingston II and Marquise Moore combined for 43 of the team’s 75 points during outstanding performances for each student-athlete.

Livingston poured in career highs in points (23) and field goals made (10) while dishing out six assists in 28 minutes of work. Moore added 20 points and pulled down a career-best 17 rebounds. The senior – who was celebrating his 22nd birthday – also swatted a career-best four shots and distributed three assists in 30 minuteson the floor.

Mason shot 44.3 percent (27-61) from the floor and limited the Panthers to just 30.3 percent (20-66) on the day, including a 24.1 percent (7-29) clip in the first half.

The Patriots enjoyed a sizable scoring advantage in the paint (40-22) and turned 18 offensive rebounds into a 14-6 edge in second chance points.

Mason and Prairie View played to a 9-9 tie early on and the score remained knotted up (15-15) 12 minutes into the contest. But from there, the Patriots held the Panthers without a field goal over the next 5+ minutes to create some distance. During the stretch, Mason put together a 12-0 run to take a 27-15 advantage with 4:08to play in the stanza.

The Patriots took a 35-21 lead into the break.

Mason scored the first eight points of the second half to extend the lead to 22 (43-21) and a 3-pointer from Livingston kept the Patriots ahead by 21 (51-30) at the 12-minute mark of the stanza. A lay-in from Moore pushed the lead to 24 (61-37) and the Panthers could not move closer than 13 (72-59) for the remainder of the game.

The Patriots open Atlantic 10 play with a game vs. VCU next Friday (Dec. 30) inside EagleBank Arena. The 8 p.m.showdown will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

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