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St. Bonaventure downs George Mason in A-10, 84-67

George MasonGeorge Mason could not overcome a red-hot shooting performance from St. Bonaventure, falling to the host Bonnies 84-67 on Saturday inside the Reilly Center.

Mason (8-7, 4-5 A-10) put 67 points on the board against SBU’s 12th-ranked scoring defense (60.7 ppg), but the game came down to the Bonnies’ effort on the other end of the floor. Osun Ossuniyi, Kyle Lofton and Dominick Welch combined to go 25-34 from the field while leading SBU (9-1, 7-1) to a 61.4 percent effort overall for the game.

The Bonnies were +11 (38-27) on the glass and held a +24 (48-24) edge in points in the paint for the game.

“Defensively, we were poor in the first half,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “Once they got in a rhythm, it was hard to get stops. I thought we played harder and better in the second half, but they made some timely buckets. Free throw shooting continues to be a damper for us. We make some of those and it can make a big difference. We’re looking for more consistency defensively. 50 percent of the result today was our doing, while the other 50 percent was because of their quality as the first place team in our league.”

Junior Jordan Miller led Mason with another strong effort, notching a team-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds. Freshman Tyler Kolek added 17 points, made four 3-pointers and dished out a team-best four assists on the day.

Mason shot 53.6 percent in the second half (7-12 3pt FG), but could not offset a first half in which the team made 10-of-35 field goal attempts

The Patriots led 3-0 after their first possession, but from there, missed 11 of their next 12 shots as SBU used a 19-2 run to go up 19-5. A Kolek 3-pointer cut the lead to nine (21-12), but an 11-2 spurt by the Bonnies put the home team up 18 (34-16) with 5:03 remaining. SBU took a 44-26 advantage into halftime.

Mason made nine of its first 11 shots of the second half, including six of its first seven 3-pointers, to get back within 11 (65-54) after a Kolek triple with 8:33 to go. Mason had chances to cut it to single digits, but big shots by the Bonnies and a poor effort at the free throw line from the Patriots allowed SBU to take care of the home victory. Mason made 7-of-17 free throw attempt overall in the contest (.412).

Mason hits the road for a Tuesday contest at Richmond. Tip-off between the Patriots and Spiders is scheduled for 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast regionally on NBC Sports Washington and nationally on ESPN+.

augusta free press
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