George Mason falls at Dayton, 83-70

george masonGeorge Mason (18-10, 8-7) withstood a number of punches from one of the Atlantic 10’s best teams but could not complete a second half comeback, falling to Dayton 83-70 on Tuesday night at UD Arena.

The Patriots trailed by just one (48-47) with 13:40 to play, but Dayton used a 20-0 run over the next six minutes to build a commanding 68-47 edge with 7:30 to go. Mason got back within 10 on multiple occasions down the stretch but could not move any closer.

“This was a disappointing result – we came here to win,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “I told our guys that right now Dayton is better than us, but it’s not a huge gap. Our guys showed that – they really fought and competed to get the game close in the second half. We had good contributions from a number of guys. We need to keep improving – hopefully our guys understand how good we can become. We’ll keep working.”

Dayton (22-5, 13-2) shot 40 percent (10-25) from 3-point territory in the game and forced 17 Mason miscues, which led to a 29-5 edge in points off turnovers for the host Flyers.

Sophomore Jaire Grayer led the Green & Gold with 13 points and also grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds to post the first double-double of his Mason career.

Senior Marquise Moore chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds, while Karmari Newman added 11 points off the bench and made 3-of-6 3-point field goals.

Redshirt-senior Jalen Jenkins tallied 10 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes and freshman Ian Boyd played 23 minutes and chipped in nine points.

Mason held a +9 (44-35) edge on the glass and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds on the night.

The Patriots started 2-of-11 from the floor as Dayton jumped out to an early 13-8 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Karmari Newman and Otis Livingston II pushed the Patriots in front, 14-13, but the Flyers used a 10-2 spurt to go up 26-18 with 6:43 to go in the half.

Dayton extended its lead to as many as 10 (33-23), but Mason cut the deficit at the half to seven (38-31) after Newman’s second 3-pointer with a minute to go in the stanza.

The Patriots made three of their first four shots in the second half, but also turned it over five times in five minutes, as Dayton went back up 10 (48-38) at the 14:54 mark of the period. But from there, the Patriots surged back with a 9-0 run over a little more than a minute. Grayer and Boyd hit back-to-back 3-pointers, then Grayer did it again the old fashioned way to pull the Patriots within one (48-47).

But from there, the Flyers clamped down on defense and used that 20-0 run over the next 6:21 to build a 21-point lead (68-47) with 7:30 to play. Mason responded with a 13-3 spurt to move back within 10 (71-61), but the Patriots could not get any closer from there.

Mason renews the Revolutionary Rivalry with George Washington on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Foggy Bottom. The game will air on Facebook Live.