George Mason stuns VCU 76-69 behind balanced offense
George Mason knocked VCU out of sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 Wednesday night, defeating the Rams 76-69 behind four Patriots in double-figures. Shevon Thompson and Jalen Jenkins combined for 33 points, while Marquise Moore added 15. The win marked Mason’s first over VCU since 2012 and snapped a six-game win streak the Rams held over the Patriots.
-Mason held VCU to a 36.6 percent shooting clip from the field to accomplish a feat only two other teams in the A-10 have been able to do.
-VCU opened grabbing a seven point lead over the Patriots, but Mason knotted the score with just under five minutes to play in the first half behind balanced offense and a strong effort on the boards.
-Moore handed the Patriots their first lead of the game from the free throw line as Thompson scored four points in the final three minutes and Jenkins capped the first half with an old-fashioned three-point play for a 35-30 Mason lead at intermission.
-A 9-5 run to open the second half gave Mason its largest lead of the contest, 44-35, with 16:39 to play.
-VCU responded capitalizing on a pair of Mason turnovers to bring the score to 44-39 before Otis Livingston II snapped the scoring drought with a three-pointer to return an eight point lead to the Patriots.
-Coming out of the first media timeout, the Rams used a 12-2 run to erase their deficit and grab a 51-49 edge with 12:01 to play.
-The lead would change twice more before Jaire Grayer knotted the score for the final time with a bucket at4:33, sparking a 7-0 Patriot run as Mason took its final lead of the game.
-Over the final minute, Mason was 7-for-12 from the free throw line as the Rams were forced to begin fouling with over a minute to play. The Rams were 2-for-5 from the field in the final minute, including a 0-for-3 effort from three-point range as Mason pulled out the win.
-Mason shot 50.0 percent (26-52) from the field led by Thompson with 17 points. Jenkins added 16 points, while Moore chipped in 15 and Otis Livingston II scored 11 points on the night. The Patriots finished with a 59.5 percent (22-37) efficiency from the free throw line.
-Led by Thompson with 12 rebounds for a double-double, Mason won the rebounding battle, 47-37.
-Mason used 42 points in the paint fueled by Thompson and Jenkins to hand VCU just its third loss in league play.
-Melvin Johnson led VCU with 24 points and was one of two Rams to finish in double-figures with Korey Billbury with 13. Justin Tillman recorded a team-best 13 rebounds.
NEXT ON THE COURT
-Mason travels to visit La Salle for a Saturday contest in Philadelphia at 2 p.m.