George Mason falls to St. Bonaventure

george masonGeorge Mason (15-11, 9-4) ran into a St. Bonaventure team cooking on all cylinders during a 79-56 setback inside the Reilly Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Bonnies – which entered the game shooting 42.3 percent overall and 31 percent from deep – made 56.4 percent of their attempts (31-55) from the floor and hit 11-of-19 3-pointers (.579). Freshman Kyle Lofton – who entered the game at 28.2 percent from deep – made a career-best 7-of-8 from deep to help fuel the Bonnies’ offensive effort.

SBU jumped out to a 16-0 lead and did not look back. Mason cut it to 10 (61-51) midway through the second half, but could not get closer than that in the final stanza.

Mason remains in the top-4 of the A-10 standings heading into Saturday’s Homecoming Game vs. Duquesne.

“St. Bonaventure played exceptionally well and shot exceptionally well,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We did not play well. These types of things happen in February on the road to good teams and we will be defined by how we respond.”

Junior Justin Kier scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds in 38 minutes. He made 8-of-14 field goal attempts on the day. Freshman Jordan Miller added 10 points (4-8 FG) and five rebounds, while fellow freshman Jamal Hartwell II chipped in a career-best eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

Otis Livingston II finished with 10 points, but played just 21 minutes due to an injury in the second half. Javon Greene (21 minutes) and Ian Boyd (4 minutes) also fell victim to the injury bug. In addition, Greg Calixte missed his second-straight game (concussion protocol).

Mason shot 38.5 percent overall (20-52) and made eight 3-pointers on the day.

The Bonnies made their first six shots from the floor and Mason missed their first four as SBU dug an early 16-0 hole for the Patriots. Mason responded by scoring nine of the next 11 points – including eight from Livingston II – to move within seven (18-11). After Bona went back up 14, Mason cut it to 10 (27-17) on a lay-in from Jordan Miller at the 8:33 mark.

After a tough charge call on Livingston II, when it appeared the Bona defensive player was in the restricted area, Paulsen received his first technical foul of the season, which allowed the Bonnies to extend the lead to 18 (38-20). SBU took a 42-25 lead into the half.

SBU shot an impressive 61.5 percent from the floor (16-26) in the period, including a 6-of-10 (.600) mark from 3-point range. Mason was limited to 36.4 percent shooting (9-25).

Bona opened the second half on a 6-0 run to extend its lead to 23 (48-25). But at that point, Mason used a 9-0 spurt over the next few minutes to move back within 14 (48-34) with under 14 minutes to play.

SBU moved back in front by 20 (59-39) with 9:59 to play, but Mason quickly answered with a 9-0 run to cut it to 59-48 at the 7:25 mark. That run included a pair of 3-pointers from Kier.

Mason cut it to 10 (61-51) on free throws from Miller with 5:21 to play, but that’s as close as the Patriots would get, as the Bonnies used a 14-2 spurt from there to go back up 75-53 with just 1:50 remaining.

Mason returns to Fairfax for a highly-anticipated Homecoming matchup with Duquesne on Saturday (Feb. 23). Tip-off between the Patriots and Dukes is scheduled for 4 p.m. The game will be televised live on MASN2 and streamed nationally on ESPN+.


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