George Mason sends out seniors with 63-62 win over Duquesne

george masonGeorge Mason (19-11, 9-8) sent its seniors out in style, grabbing a 63-62 win over Duquesne in the Patriots’ final home game of the season Wednesday.

The Patriots shot just 40.3 percent (25-62) overall and 16.7 percent (3-18) from 3-point range. But Mason earned the victory on the strength of forcing 12 Dukes turnovers, which the Patriots converted into an 18-5 edge in points off turnovers for the game.

At 9-8, the Patriots are tied with George Washington for sixth place in the A-10 standings.

“We can take some positives from this game,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We did enough to get the win, but it was a pretty poor performance from our team. It was a reflection from one of our worst practices yesterday and our lack of focus in shootaround today. For me, it’s not about wins and losses – it’s about excellence. We need to be as good as we can be. We were lucky to escape this one.”

Redshirt-senior Jalen Jenkins led the Patriots with 13 points (5-9 FG) and grabbed six rebounds, while fellow senior Marquise Moore posted eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 38 minutes of work.

Sophomore Otis Livingston II chipped in 12 points and a game-high five assists and fellow sophomore Jaire Grayer tallied eight points and made a pair of 3-pointers.

Duquesne held a +4 (39-35) edge on the glass, but the Patriots tallied a 14-13 advantage in second chance points and were +7 (15-8) in bench scoring.

Mason made just three of its first 15 shots (0-of-9 3pt FG) and trailed 15-8 at the 11:39 mark of the first half. The Patriots answered with a 12-3 spurt to build a 20-18 advantage and led 28-25 after a Livingston jumper with 1:52 to play in the half. The Patriots led 30-27 at the break.

Duquense rocketed out of the locker room in the second half and used a 10-2 run to build 44-36 edge with 14:46 to go in the game.

Mason answered with a 13-4 spurt to go back up one (50-49) with 10:37 to play. Mason extended the edge to five (59-54) on a 3-pointer from Karmari Newman with 6:35 left and led 61-56 with 5:26 to go.

Mason would not convert another field goal for the remainder of the game, but put together a number of defensive stops to claim the victory. Duquesne had a pair of looks on the game’s final possession to go ahead, but the Patriots held strong to clinch their ninth A-10 win.

The Patriots wrap up the regular season with a 2 p.m. contest Saturday at VCU. The game will air locally on MASN and will be streamed nationally on Facebook Live.

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