news george mason defeats loyola chicago 86 75 improves to 9 0 at home this season
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George Mason defeats Loyola Chicago, 86-75, improves to 9-0 at home this season

George MasonGeorge Mason got a huge lift from its bench to help propel the Patriots to an 86-75 victory over Loyola Chicago Saturday afternoon in EagleBank Arena.

Mason (10-6, 2-1 A-10) held a 26-6 advantage in bench points and made a concerted effort to get the ball inside, where the Patriots were +18 (48-30) in points in the paint.

With the victory, the Patriots improved to 9-0 in Fairfax, marking the program’s best home start since 2010-11.

“I’m proud of our guys for their fight tonight,” George Mason coach Kim English said. “It was a quick turnaround after our tough loss at Bonnies. They did a really good job of bouncing back and fixing some things from a mindset standpoint that hurt us in Olean. We have great respect for Loyola and their program’s NCAA Tournament DNA.”

Josh Oduro led George Mason with his sixth double-double of the season. He notched 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out two assists in just 23 minutes due to foul trouble.

DeVon Cooper added 17 points and five rebounds, while graduate Victor Bailey Jr. added 14 points (4-6 3pt FG).

Malik Henry played his best game in a Patriot uniform, notching career bests in points (15) and blocks (3) while grabbing five rebounds in a season-high 17 minutes.

Ronald Polite III (12 points) also reached double figures for the Green & Gold.

The Ramblers (6-9, 0-3 A-10)  led 26-19 at the 6:18 mark of the first half, but the Patriots closed the stanza on a 9-2 run to tie it up 35-35 at the half.

An 8-0 spurt early in the second half pushed Mason in front by five (45-40) and the lead extended to seven (52-45) at the 13:57 mark. Loyola moved back within three at 59-56, but a 10-2 surge from the Green & Gold pushed the advantage to 11 (69-58) with 8:43 left. The Ramblers could not move closer than five for the remainder of the game.

George Mason hits the road for a Wednesday contest at Saint Louis. Tip-off between the Patriots and Billikens is set for 8 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bally Sports Midwest.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].

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