George Mason throttles Fordham, 77-45, in A-10 mid-week action
Mason (9-8, 5-6 A-10) led by eight at the half (33-25), then used an impressive 32-5 run just one minute into the second stanza to take a commanding lead the team would not relinquish.
After not tallying a 30+ point A-10 victory in its seven previous seasons in the league, Mason has now claimed two 30+ point league triumphs in 2021.
“It starts on the defensive end,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “It’s what we’ve been emphasizing and we haven’t always had that while we’ve been on the road for almost a month. Our guys have been working hard, and that’s where it began. It was a good collective team effort defensively, and focusing on that allowed us to stretch out the margin in the second half.”
The defense provided a huge boost for the Patriots, as Mason held the Rams to just 31.5 percent for the game and 25.8 percent in the second half. After Fordham made their first three 3-pointers, the Patriots limited the Rams to just 1-of-16 (.0625) for the rest of the contest.
Mason also shot it well on the other end, making 50 percent (27-54) of its attempts on the night. The Patriots made a season-best 52.4 percent of their 3-point attempts (11-21) and held a 26-4 edge in bench scoring.
The Patriots forced 16 Fordham miscues and turned that into a 24-6 edge in points off turnovers for the game.
Junior Jordan Miller once again led Mason in scoring, tallying 16 points (7-11 FG) and four assists in 32 minutes. Senior Javon Greene added 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-5 3pt FG) and three steals, while freshman Tyler Kolek chipped in 11 points (3-6 3pt FG), two assists and two steals.
With his three steals, Greene passed Myron Contee and John Niehoff to move into fourth place on the all-time Mason steals list. The senior is shooting 57.1 percent from 3-point range (16-28) over the past five games.
In addition to those efforts, freshman Otis Frazier III tallied a career-high nine points (3-4 FG) to go along with three rebounds, a steal and a block.
All five Mason walk-ons saw action late in the game, with senior Chance Konnor scoring his first career basket.
Mason jumped out to a 12-6 advantage and led 16-11 after a Kolek runner at the 13:06 mark of the opening stanza. After that, a five minute scoring drought by the Patriots allowed Fordham to surge ahead, 17-16.
Mason stepped up the D from there, holding Fordham without a field goal for a five-minute stretch while putting together a 14-4 run. The Patriots got the lead up to nine (30-21) and took an eight-point edge (33-25) into the break.
The Patriots used their 32-5 run to over the first 15 minutes of the second half to build a 65-32 edge with 5:27 left, capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Kolek. In all, the Green & Gold limited Fordham to just two baskets over nearly 15 minutes of basketball
Mason led by as many as 35 (72-37) with under three minutes to go.
The Patriots’ next scheduled game is February 20 at VCU. Tip-off inside the Siegel Center is set for 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.