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George Mason clamps down on D in second half, defeats NJIT, 86-68

Chris Graham
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George Mason held NJIT to 27.6 shooting in the second half to break open a close game, winning 86-68 on Wednesday in Fairfax.

The Patriots (6-1) led 32-31 at the break, but NJIT (1-6) was just 8-of-29 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

“It’s tough to be upset at an 18-point win, but I thought we did a lot of uncharacteristic things in the first half,” Mason coach Tony Skinn said. “I stressed to these guys that NJIT is a good, young, talented team. I expected them to give us a fight. We responded in the second half and showed who we are and that propelled us to the win.”

Mason starters Keyshawn Hall (21 minutes) and Jared Billups (18) each saw limited action due to foul trouble, but Mason’s depth proved evident as multiple players stepped up to make an impact.

Senior Ronald Polite III paced the Green & Gold with season highs in points (18), assists (6) and steals (3).

Virginia Tech transfer Darius Maddox added 17 points and four assists, while graduate forward Amari Kelly notched his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].