George Washington knocks off George Mason

george masonGeorge Mason dropped a 87-68 contest to hot shooting George Washington Wednesday night inside EagleBank Arena.

For the second straight game at home, Mason struggled from the field in the first half, shooting 32.3 percent (10-31) while falling behind 35-24 at the break. George Washington shot 55.2 percent (16-29) in the second half and made 57.9 percent (11-19) of their 3-pointers on the night.

“This was a disappointing evening for our team,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “GW played well and exploited us defensively. This is now two consecutive home games where we didn’t shoot well early, and it dictated our energy and our defensive focus. We have to be more mature than that.”

Sophomore Otis Livingston II posted his best scoring output in five games to lead the Patriots. The Linden, N.J., native tallied 15 of his 17 points in the second half and shot 7-of-14 from the floor.

Marquise Moore added his fifth-straight double-double and 13th overall of the season. Matching up against players more than six inches taller than the senior, Moore grabbed 10 rebounds and posted 15 points in 31 minutes.

Freshman Ian Boyd provided a huge spark off the bench with 12 points (5-8 FG) and tallied four rebounds, while fellow freshman Karmari Newman notched seven points.

Mason and GW entered the game as the top two rebounding teams in the Atlantic 10, and the Patriots won the battle on the boards, 42-39. Mason also held a 36-28 edge in points in the paint, but the Patriots committed 13 miscues which led to a 12-0 edge in fastbreak points for the Colonials.

The Patriots shot 40.3 percent overall for the game and made 1-of-8 (.125) 3-point attempts.

GW led the game from start to finish. The Colonials jumped out to a 13-4 lead at the 12:59 mark of the first half and led 18-10 with 10:24 to go in the stanza. Mason moved back within six (28-22) on a lay-in from Livingston, but George Washington closed the half on a 7-2 spurt to take a 35-24 lead into halftime.

Mason got back within seven (35-28) on a Jaire Grayer lay-up just a minute into the second half. From there, the Colonials extended the lead up to 13 (43-30), but Mason rallied with a 7-0 spurt to cut it to 43-37 with 15:31 left.

But every time Mason moved closer, GW responded. The Colonials went back up 12 (52-40) with 12:27 to go. Again, Mason cut it to seven (55-48) at the 9:58 mark, but that’s as close as the Patriots would get, with GW going up by as many as 22 (77-55) with under five minutes to go.

The Patriots are back in action Saturday (Jan. 28) when Mason battles Massachusetts inside the Mullins Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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