Late rally pushes George Mason past D-2 Queens in Paradise Jam opener

George MasonGeorge Mason avoided disaster with a late 6-0 run that pushed the Patriots past D-2 Queens University, 66-65, on Thursday in the first round of the Paradise Jam.

Queens led 65-60 with 3:55 remaining, but from there, the Patriots would hold the Royals scoreless while putting together a series of big defensive stops.

On the other end, junior Jordan Miller converted two-straight buckets to cut it to one (65-64) at the 1:22 mark. Then, with under 20 seconds left, senior Javon Greene was fouled and hit two big free throws to seal the victory.

“I told our guys we found a way to win,” Mason coach Dave Paulsen said. “We’ve been off for eight months, and there’s been a lot of uncertainty this week. That had an impact on our performance. We committed a ton of turnovers and made some poor decisions. There’s a lot to teach from and a lot to learn. But it says a lot about a team with how it handles adversity. We’re ready to bounce back tomorrow.”

Greene paced the Patriots all night while putting together a critical 19-point effort on 5-of-8 shooting. He also converted 8-of-9 free throw attempts and grabbed three rebounds in 30 minutes.

Sophomore Josh Oduro chipped in 13 points (6-10 FG), three rebounds and two assists, while Miller added 11 points and four rebounds.

Mason shot 46.2 percent (24-of-52) for the game and made 6-of-16 three-point attempts (.375). Mason held Queens to just 27.3 percent from beyond the arc, but the Royals gave themselves a chance with a strong effort on the glass (+15).

Mason now has a quick turnaround before playing the second of three contests in the DC Paradise Jam on Friday. The Patriots will battle mid-major power Belmont in 2 p.m. contest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.


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