George Mason hits school-record 17 threes in 84-70 win over Howard
After converting just 2-of-23 treys (8.7 percent) Friday vs. Belmont, Mason bounced back with a much-improved 40.5 percent at a high volume (17-of-42) in the victory.
The school-record 17 triples fueled the Patriots to a win in which they led by as many as 26 (79-53).
Junior Jordan Miller proved to be the catalyst, posting his first career 30-point effort, including a sizzling 8-of-10 mark from beyond the arc.
Miller added eight rebounds and two assists, cementing a spot on the Paradise Jam All-Tournament Team.
Miller averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and shot 56.4 percent over the three contests.
“My teammates did a good job of giving me open shots,” Miller said. “The basket felt huge today. Overall, it was a great team win and I’m happy we can finish this tournament 2-1. We have a lot of things to improve upon, but this was a solid weekend for us.
In addition to Miller’s outstanding performance, sophomore Xavier Johnson tallied 13 points (3-7 three-point FG) and four rebounds, while senior Javon Greene added 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore Jamal Hartwell II dished out a career-best nine assists while adding seven points in 29 minutes.
The ball moved well all game long, with Mason posting 22 assists on 27 made shots. That’s the highest assist total by a Patriot squad since a Dec. 3, 2018 triumph over William & Mary.
Mason also was a much improved +7 (44-37) on the glass and held a +11 edge (15-4) in fast break points. The Patriots limited the Bison to just 37.7 percent shooting (23-61) for the game.
Mason jumped out to an 11-3 lead and moved ahead 21-14 on a 3-pointer from Johnson at the 12:17 mark of the opening stanza. Howard used a 10-0 run to take a 24-21 advantage, but back-to-back triples from Miller put the Patriots back in front, 31-25.
The Green & Gold took a 41-33 edge into the break.
Howard cut the lead to six (41-35) at the 17:55 mark of the second half, but that’s as close as the Patriots would get, as Mason would extend the edge to 13 (58-45, 12:21) on a second-effort bucket from sophomore Bahaïde Haïdara.
Another follow from Miller made it 66-50 with 7:14 to go, and the Patriots got it to 26 (79-53) on the strength of 13-0 run, capped by a Greene three-pointer.
Mason will return to action Friday with a contest at Big Ten foe Maryland.
Tip-off between the Patriots and Terrapins is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The game will be televised nationally on Big Ten Network.