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George Mason falls to scorching hot Nevada, 88-69

George MasonGeorge Mason ran into a Nevada team firing all cylinders during an 88-69 setback to the Wolfpack Tuesday night inside the Sanford Pentagon.

Mason trailed by just five at the break (36-31), but Nevada shot a blistering 57.7 percent in the second half (15-26), including a 7-of-13 mark from 3-point range.

“This is a tough loss for our group. I thought Nevada played great. They knew what they wanted to do and it happened quick. It was a one-point game with 16 minutes to go so I’ll have to warch the film to see where it got away from us. Our group is going to stay together and keep fighting.”

The Patriots fell behind after shooting 32.3 percent (10-31) in the opening stanza. Mason turned the ball over 14 times, while led to a +10 (19-9) edge in points off turnovers for the game.

Junior Davonte Gaines tallied a team-best 17 points (4-5 FG, 8-10 FT) to go along with seven rebounds in 31 minutes.

Junior Josh Oduro added 15 points (5-8 FG), five rebounds and three steals, while graduate student DeVon Cooper tallied 13 points and two assists.

Mason trailed 10-9 at the 14:15 mark of the first half, but the Wolfpack responded with a 7-0 spurt to build a 19-11 advantage. With Nevada ahead, 28-22, Mason ripped off a 6-0 spurt, capped by a Cooper 3-pointer, to tie up the score at 30-30. From there, Nevada scored six of the final seven points of the half to take a 36-31 advantage into the break.

Mason opened the second half on a 7-0 spurt to tie the score at 38-38. Nevada moved in front by six at 46-40 and led 51-43 at the 13:17 mark of the half. Mason moved back within three at 53-50, but at that point, Nevada ripped off a 10-0 run to build a 63-50 advantage.

The Nevada lead swelled to 86-61 with 3:18 to go and the Wolfpack finished the job from there.

Mason wraps up the Crossover Classic Wednesday night vs. mid-major power South Dakota State.  The Patriots and Jackrabbits will face off at 9:30 p.m. (ET) inside the Sanford Pentagon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.