The Greyhounds move on to the CBI quarterfinals, while Mason ends its season with a 20-14 record. The 20-win season was Mason’s first since the 2012-13 season. The Patriots set a new record for Atlantic 10 victories (9) and won the first A-10 Tournament game in school history.
Mason ended the 2016-17 campaign as one of the top-20 most improved teams in the country.
Sophomore Otis Livingston II led the Patriots with 19 points, three rebounds and two assists, while Jaire Grayer chipped in 17 points (6-11 FG) and grabbed eight rebounds in 37 minutes.
Freshman Justin Kier tallied 11 points – his highest scoring output since Dec. 12 – and made a pair of 3-pointers in 29 minutes of work.
The Greyhounds took advantage of a night in which Mason shot just 33.3 percent (20-60) for the game, which marked the team’s lowest shooting percentage of the season. Loyola also held a +10 advantage (43-33) on the glass.
“I give credit to Loyola. They played hard, played well and wanted this game,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “Guys hit some big shots for them when we started to crawl back into the contest. I’m disappointed in our effort and our intensity. This is a teachable moment and a learning experience. I want to thank our seniors. In the big picture, our team made a lot of progress this year.”
Mason grabbed an early 10-6 lead, but from there, the Patriots went without a point over the next 7+ minutes as the Greyhounds pushed ahead 17-10. A Loyola 3-pointer moved the visitors ahead by 11 (23-12) at the 6:03 mark of the half. The Greyhounds led by that margin at the break (31-20).
The Greyhounds extended the lead to 19 at 41-22, then moved in front by 24 (50-26) with 12:16 left in the contest. With Loyola leading by 25 (56-31), the Patriots began to mount a comeback.
Mason utilized an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 14 (56-42) with 6:32 remaining. Then, after Loyola made it 60-45, the Patriots forced a number of Greyhound turnovers and trailed by just 10 at 60-50 and 62-52.
But the Patriots could not move closer for the remainder of the game and Loyola left EagleBank Arena with the victory.
Senior Marquise Moore posted nine rebounds in his final collegiate game and ended his senior season with a school record 369 rebounds. He posted 694 rebounds in his career. Redshirt-senior Jalen Jenkins added six points in 11 minutes. The duo and fellow senior Myles Tate have much to be proud of and were irreplaceable parts of the Patriots turnaround this season.