Second-half surge propels George Mason past George Washington, into A-10 quarterfinals
The Patriots will face off with third-seeded Davidson in the Robins Center on Friday at 5:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
With the victory, Mason has now won five straight. The Patriots also have won their past four A-10 second round contests dating back to 2017.
Mason (13-8) could simply not convert open shots in the opening half and after a 6-of-23 (.261) performance found itself trailing the Colonials by three (25-22) at the break. But the team’s sharp defense in the first kept the Patriots in it, allowing Mason to surge ahead once the team found its offensive footing. Mason shot a sizzling 62.9 percent (22-35) in the second half and held a +17 (51-34) scoring advantage over the Colonials.
Junior Jordan Miller led Mason with his second double-double against GW in as many games this season. The Middleburg, Va., product tallied a team-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
Off the bench, freshman Ronald Polite put together a career effort for the Green & Gold, tallying a personal-best 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with three rebounds and a block in 27 minutes on the floor.
Junior Jamal Hartwell II added nine points (4-7 FG) and made a number of critical baskets in the second half, while senior Javon Greene added eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Mason held GW to just 36.8 percent shooting from the floor and limited the Colonials to 28.6 percent in the first half.
The Patriots dominated specialty stats on the night, holding significant advantages in points in the paint (42-16), points off turnovers (17-7) and second chance points (13-4).
Mason led 17-13 after 12 minutes of action and held a 19-16 advantage with 4:42 to go in the stanza. But the Colonials scored nine of the final 12 points of the half to take a 25-22 edge into the break.
GW extended the lead to seven at 29-22 and increased the edge to eight (34-26) at the 17:11 mark of the second half. With the Colonials ahead 38-35, Mason made a big move, rattling off an 11-0 spurt to take a 46-38 edge with 11:27 to go. The surge included a pair of buckets from Hartwell II and a 3-pointer from Greene.
GW moved back within five at 58-53 with 5:40 to go, but at that point, another 11-0 run by Mason put the Patriots in front 69-53 and Mason would go on to lead by as many as 17.