George Mason takes control, cruises to 80-67 win at Georgia
The Patriots (6-5) controlled nearly every statistical category in a complete team effort. Mason shot 51.9 percent from the floor, 42.3 percent from 3pt range and held the Bulldogs to just 33.9 percent shooting as a team.
Mason dished out 23 assists on 28 made baskets, held a +10 (32-22) advantage in points in the paint and committed just nine turnovers in the victory.
Coupled with the Nov. 17 victory at No. 20/21 Maryland, Mason has now picked up two Power 5 road wins in a season for the first time in program history.
“This was a great win for our group,” head coach Kim English said. “The guys did as good a job as they have this season in executing the game plan to perfection from the start to the end. It’s the first time we’ve had our full group and I’m really happy for our team.”
Mason received outstanding contributions across the roster, led by junior Josh Oduro, who continued his torrid pace of late. The Gainesville, Va., product registered 20 points (7-14 FG) to go along with 11 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season. He also put together a dominant defensive effort while shattering his previous career-best with six blocked shots. It marked his sixth 20+ point game in 11 contests this season.
Graduate student D’Shawn Schwartz added a game-high 21 points (8-14 FG), five rebounds, three assists and two steals. He made 5-of-10 3-point attempts, including a big momentum triple late in the second half.
Junior Davonte Gaines chipped in 13 points (5-7 FG) and three rebounds, while graduate student DeVon Cooper tallied 10 points and tied his career high with six assists. With his final field goal of the game, he reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career.
In addition, junior Xavier Johnson set a new career-best with nine assists in 33 minutes, while senior Jamal Hartwell II made a pair of big second half triples and finished with six points. Sophomore Ronald Polite III saw his first action of the season after recovering from a hip injury and finished with four points and an assist in 15 minutes.
Mason rocketed out of the gate, using an early 14-0 run to take a 19-4 edge at the 13:57 mark of the first half. Georgia fought back to move within seven (19-12), but back-to-back 3-pointers from Schwartz pushed the Mason edge to 16 (28-12) with 8:48 to go in the half.
An 11-2 run by the Bulldogs moved the home team back within six (34-28). Mason entered the half ahead by eight at 38-30.
Mason extended the edge to 47-35 early in the second half, but Georgia again was within eight at 54-46 with 11:36 to play.
Georgia cut it to six (67-61) with 4:31 to go, but at that point, Mason answered in a big way.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Schwartz and Cooper pushed the Patriot lead back to 12 (73-61) with 3:56 to go and the Bulldogs could not move closer than nine for the remainder of the game.
Mason returns to Fairfax for a pair of home games to wrap up non-conference play. The Patriots play American on Tuesday (Dec. 21) at 7 p.m., then battle Coppin State on Thursday (Dec. 23) at 4 p.m. inside EagleBank Arena.