George Mason gets to 11 A-10 wins with 81-65 victory at George Washington
George Mason (17-14, 11-7) improved upon its record-breaking A-10 season, capturing the 11th win of its league slate during a complete 81-65 victory at George Washington on Saturday afternoon inside the Smith Center.
Mason shot 53.6 percent (30-56) for the game, made 11-of-22 3-pointers (.500) and led by double digits the entire second half during a wire-to-wire win.
The victory marks Mason’s first ever in the Charles E. Smith Center (in 15 tries) and grants the Patriots either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in next week’s Atlantic 10 Tournament. Mason will know its definite seed at the conclusion of Saturday’s Dayton-Duquesne game (7 p.m.).
“I’m tremendously proud of our team. That’s an excellent bounce back after a long and rough night Tuesday [against VCU],” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We told our guys that everyone was writing them off, similar to the start of conference play. I like the way we responded in practice. Tonight we played like a team that other teams don’t want to play against.”
Mason’s strong day started on the defensive end, where the Patriots limited GW to 37 percent shooting in the first half, allowing the Green & Gold to build a 42-26 halftime lead. Mason held GW to 12.5 percent (2-16) from beyond the arc and held a 31-25 edge on the glass in the contest.
Freshman Jordan Miller led the Green & Gold with a career-best 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds (six offensive) in 34 minutes. He put together a perfect shooting line (6-6 FG, 1-1 3pt FG, 4-4 FT) in the game.
Senior Otis Livingston II chipped in 14 points (6-9 FG), three assists and three rebounds, while sophomore Javon Greene added 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-5 3pt FG), grabbed five rebounds and dished out a career-best six assists.
Junior Justin Kier also tallied 13 points and posted a career-high nine assists while making three steals in the game. Kier and Greene combined to dish out 15 assists while committing just two turnovers in the contest.
Mason made six of its first eight shots while jumping out to leads of 7-0 and 14-4. GW cut it to seven at 23-16, but the Patriots used a 5-0 spurt to extend the lead to 12 (30-18) after a Jamal Hartwell 3-pointer at the 5:21 mark. Compton’s finest hit another triple to put Mason up 33-20 and Mason extended it to 17 (40-23) on free throws from Kier. The Patriots took a 42-26 edge into the break.
Mason led 48-34 at the 15:08 mark of the second half, before the Patriots rattled off an 8-0 spurt – highlighted by a thunderous alley-oop jam from Kier to AJ Wilson – to push Mason up 20 at 56-36.
GW answered nine straight to move back within 11 (58-47) with 10:27 left. But Mason quickly ralleid with back-to-back 3-pointers from Greene to extend the edge back to 17 (64-47).
Again GW moved to within 12 (64-52) at the 8:20 mark, but this time, Mason put the pedal to the metal for good. A 12-2 spurt extended the Mason lead back to 22 (76-54) and the Patriots would wrap up the win from there to move to 17-14 overall.
Hartwell II posted nine points (3-5 3pt FG) for Mason while AJ Wilson and Greg Calixte each added six for the Green & Gold.
Mason heads to Brooklyn for the 2019 Atlantic 10 Championship. The Patriots will begin play in Thursday’s second round action. The Patriots will be either the No. 5 or 6 seed. The bracket will be unveiled at the conclusion of A-10 regular season play Saturday evening.