The Wildcats entered the game in the top-25 nationally in 3-point field goals per game and Davidson used that strength to their advantage. Davidson hit 11 3-pointers and shot 55.6 percent overall for the game. The visitors used their blistering offensive performance to jump out to a 45-27 halftime lead. Mason could not get it below 15 for the remainder of the contest.
“Davidson played extremely well and we did not,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We really shot ourselves in the foot, as they had 21 points off turnovers. That, for the most part, was the story of the game. We can’t wallow – we have to bounce back and get better. We proved on Wednesday what we’re capable of and we’ve shown that a few times. We’re a young team and we’re incredibly inconsistent. The only way to improve on that is to work harder and to have better focus.”
Junior Otis Livingston II continued his torrid play of late to lead the Green & Gold. The Linden, N.J., product tallied a team-high 20 points (7-12 FG, 4-5 3pt FG) to go along with three assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes. He’s averaging 26.5 points and shooting 53.1 percent over the past two contests.
Junior Jaire Grayer added 11 points and hit 3-of-6 3-point field goal attempts, while freshman Greg Calixte chipped in seven points (3-4 FG) and five rebounds in 29 minutes.
The Wildcats held a 42-24 edge in points in the paint and were +9 (35-26) on the glass. Davidson also turned 14 Mason miscues into a 21-5 edge in points off turnovers for the game.
Mason scored eight of the game’s first 11 points before Davidson used a 10-0 run to pull ahead 13-8 at the 12:49 mark of the first half. Another 10-0 spurt by the Wildcats pushed them ahead by 12 (30-18) with 6:21 to go in the period. The Wildcats increased the lead to 21 (45-24) with less than a minute to go in the half and Davidson held a 45-27 lead at the break after a final seconds 3-pointer from Livingston II.
Davidson extended its lead to 24 (57-33) less than five minutes into the second half and increased the advantage to 27 (65-38) with 10:23 to play. Mason could not move closer than 25 for the remainder of the contest.
Mason continues its A-10 homestand with a contest against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday (January 10) inside EagleBank Arena. Tip-off between the Patriots and Hawks is set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the A-10 Network (subscription required). A free audio stream on GoMason.com also is available, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.
The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.