George Mason upset bid comes up short at Duquesne, 81-78

george masonGeorge Mason nearly pulled off a road upset Saturday. but could not quite get past Duquesne, falling 81-78 at the UPMC Events Center.

The Patriots (15-14, 4-12 A-10) cut a six-point deficit with less than two minutes left to just two, and had a couple chances to tie or take the lead. But the Dukes (20-8, 10-6 A-10) were able to stave off the upset bid and hang on for the team’s 20th win of the season.

Mason dominated Duquesne on the glass, where the Patriots held a +19 edge (40-21) and turned 17 offensive rebounds into a massive 26-4 advantage in second chance points.

The Patriots also shot 73.5 percent (25-34) from 2-point range, but made just 4-of-21 (.190) 3-point attempts. Mason also committed 20 turnovers which Duquesne turned into 25 points.

Sophomore Jordan Miller led Mason with his second-straight double-double, tallying 19 points and 12 points while tabulating an efficient 9-of-12 shooting effort.

AJ Wilson added 14 points (6-8 FG) and Jamal Hartwell II notched 12 points. Junior Goanar Mar chipped in a season-best 10 points (2-3 FG, 6-7 FT) and grabbed four rebounds in 22 minutes.

The Patriots committed three early turnovers, allowing Duquesne to jump out to a 9-2 advantage. The Dukes led 13-6, but the Patriots surged back with a 12-3 spurt to take an 18-16 edge at the 10:01 mark. The Patriots kept a one-point edge (20-19) on a hesitation floater from Hartwell II and Mason led 26-24 after a 3-point play from Greg Calixte with 6:40 to go in the stanza. The Dukes scored seven of the final 10 points of the half to take a 37-33 edge into the break.

Duquesne extended its edge to eight (45-37) four minutes into the second half, but the Patriots got it back to two (50-48) on a lay-in from Wilson at the 11:42 mark. Duquesne extended the edge back to eight (60-52) with 8:01 left, but at that point, Mason surged back with a 9-0 run – capped by a Hartwell II triple – to take a 61-60 lead with 5:23 left.

Duquesne came right back with a 5-0 run to go back up four (65-61) and the Dukes led by six (72-66) with just 1:48 to go. Mason cut it to two (74-72) after back-to-back buckets from Miller and Josh Oduro.

After a back-and-forth next few possessions, Mason trailed by two (78-76) with five seconds left. Duquesne made one free throw to go up three (79-76) but the Patriots could only convert a 2-pointer. Mason has another shot with less than a second left, but the full court heave would not fall.


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