George Mason picks up 71-62 road win at Saint Joseph’s
After the Hawks (1-12, 0-7 A-10) shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc during Mason’s double overtime win Wednesday, Mason (8-6, 4-4 A-10) locked in Saturday while holding SJU to just 26.9 percent (7-26) from the 3-point line.
“They had 13 3s against us in the first game and we said we had to cut those in half,” Mason coach Dave Paulsen said. “That’s what we basically did – they had seven. They live with the three, and we had to make it harder for them. They got less off and shot a lower percentage and that was a matter of will from our guys.”
Mason shot 50 percent from the floor (26-52) for the first time this season and limited Saint Joseph’s to just 35.2 percent (25-71). The Patriots once again controlled the glass against the Hawks and held a +9 (44-35) edge for the game. Mason also dished out its most assists (17) since the Dec. 30 win at UMass.
Birthday boy Jordan Miller led the Green & Gold with 18 points in the game to go along with five rebounds in 38 minutes.
Senior Javon Greene added 13 points, made 4-of-6 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Josh Oduro tallied 12 points (6-7 FG) and six rebounds in 19 minutes.
And while redshirt-senior AJ Wilson missed much of the first half with a shoulder injury, freshmen Ronald Polite and Otis Frazier III, as well as sophomore Bahaïde Haïdara, gave the team great minutes off the bench to help maintain the Mason lead.
Behind a trio of 3-pointers from Greene, Mason jumped out to an 11-2 advantage. The Patriots keep that margin (18-9) after an Oduro jumper and went up 10 (21-11) on an Xavier Johnson 3-pointer at the 9:09 mark of the opening half.
The Hawks used a 7-0 spurt to move back within three (21-18), but Mason responded with a 7-2 run to extend the lead back to eight (28-20). The Patriots led 32-24 at halftime.
Saint Joseph’s opened the second half strong and cut the Mason edge to four at 36-32. The Patriots upped their lead back to 10 (44-34), but from there, SJU took advantage of a lengthy scoring drought by the Patriots.
A run by the Hawks cut the Mason advantage to one (48-47) with 8:01 left, but that’s as close as SJU would would get. Freshman Tyler Kolek converted a crucial 3-point play to put Mason back up four (51-47), then Greene hit a big 3-pointer at 6:13 to extend the lead to seven (56-49). The Patriots got the advantage to nine at 62-53, and SJU could not move closer than seven for the remainder of the contest.
Mason returns home for the first of two Revolutionary Rivalry contests vs. George Washington this season. The Patriots will host the Colonials on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast regionally on MASN2 and nationally on ESPN+.