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George Mason wraps unbeaten homestand with 75-66 win over Bonnies

George MasonGeorge Mason (10-7, 3-1) completed a 3-0 homestand with a wire-to-wire, 75-66 win over St. Bonaventure (11-5, 3-2) Wednesday night inside EagleBank Arena.

After a back-and-forth first half, Mason walloped the Bonnies with an 18-0 run to go up 51-33 at the 15:30 mark of the second half. SBU worked their way back gradually over the next 10 minutes to move within four (61-57) with five minutes to play.

But the Patriots answered with big-time back-to-back 3-pointers from DeVon Cooper and Xavier Johnson to go back up 10 (67-57). The Bonnies could not move closer than six (69-63) for the remainder of the game.

“I’m really proud of our guys’ resolve to just stay in it knowing it’s a game of runs and knowing the game was at our tempo,” head coach Kim English. “When they went on their late run, I thought we lost control of that tempo. But we regathered ourselves, responded and made plays down the stretch on both ends. You find a way to win in league play and you protect home court in league play against a program, coach, team and players we have great respect for. A really good win for our group against a perennial A-10 power.”

Despite playing their third game in five days, the Patriots withstood the battle-tested Bonnies on the strength of outstanding contributions across the roster.

Graduate student D’Shawn Schwartz led the Patriots with 20 points (7-12 FG, 5-9 3pt FG) to go along with four rebounds and two assists. It marked his fifth 20+ point game of the season and fifth game with at least four triples this season.

With his fifth 3-pointer, Schwartz became just the sixth player in Green & Gold to reach 200 career 3-pointers.

Cooper poured in an A-10 personal best 18 points and matched his career high with five 3-pointers on 11 attempts (.455). The Louisville product also dished out three assists and posted a team-high +20 in +/-.

Junior Josh Oduro went up against 2021 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year Osun Ossuniyi Wednesday night and compiled an efficient 15 points (5-9 FG) to go along with seven rebounds. He also tied his career best with four assists and notched an A-10 personal best five blocked shots in 35 minutes.

Junior Ticket Gaines added 14 points (5-11), eight rebounds and set a new career high with four assists in 37 minutes.

Mason became just the second St. Bonaventure opponent to shoot over 50 percent this season. The Patriots made 52 percent of their attempts and tied a season best with 15 3-pointers at a 46.9 percent clip.

The Patriots also forced 12 St. Bona turnovers, which the Green & Gold turned into a +10 (22-12) edge in points off turnovers for the game.

Mason limited the Bonnies to just 39.2 percent shooting on the night and the Patriots never trailed in the game.

Mason now hits the road for a Sunday contest in bucolic Western Massachusetts. Tip-off with the UMass Minutemen is set for 2:30 p.m. The contest will be televised nationally on USA Network.

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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