Mason knocks off Quinnipiac to take third in Paradise Jam
The George Mason men’s basketball team scored its most decisive victory of the 2012-13 season to date, defeating Quinnipiac 74-58 in the 2012 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin islands Paradise Jam consolation game Monday evening. Mason moved to 3-2 with the win, while the Bobcats dropped to 2-3.
Junior Sherrod Wright led a balanced Mason offense, scoring a game-high 14 points along with a team bests of seven rebounds and three assists. All told, 10 different Patriots recorded a point, including a career-high 12 points for redshirt sophomore Anali Okoloji. QU was led by 12 points from Dave Johnson.
In the game, the Patriots shot 50 percent or better in each half, finishing 30-of-59 (50.8 percent) including a 6-of-12 clip from beyond the arc. The Bobcats were limited to 35.3 percent shooting (2-10 3FG) and turned the ball over 15 times compared to 11 for Mason.
Mason broke open the contest midway through the first half, ending an 11-11 deadlock with a 9-3 run that made the score 20-14 following Okoloji’s 3-pointer. After the Bobcats cut it to a three-point game at the 6:14 mark with Zaid Hearst’s 3-point play, the Patriots responded by embarking on an 8-0 run, pushing their lead to 30-19. QU was held without a field goal for nearly six minutes in the first half, and the Patriots built a lead as large as 13 after Edwards’ reverse layup at the one-minute mark. Azotam hit a free throw and a jumper inside the final 60 seconds to set the halftime margin of 34-24.
It was just the second halftime lead of the season for the Patriots and by far their largest, as they shot 50 percent from the field, including a 4-of-7 mark from beyond the arc, compared to 30.4 percent shooting for the Bobcats. Okoloji led the way for the Patriots with seven in the first period, but the Patriots saw a balanced scoring attack in which eight different players scored.
The Bobcats had a response in the second half, though, cutting the deficit to a basket six minutes into the contest. Mason answered with a 9-2 run, ending with an Erik Copes dunk which left the score 51-42. Quinnipiac got no closer than seven, and the Patriots led by as many as 19 in the second half.
Mason returns home for just the second time, when the Patriots host Boston University on Saturday at 4 p.m.