There was 21 seconds left in the game, George Mason down one, and Otis Livingston II with the ball in his hand, open in the corner. Just two days ago, that is a shot that Livingston probably would not have made.
On Tuesday, no one watching the game had any doubt that the sophomore would hit the go-ahead basket that would be the difference in Mason’s 79-75 win over Kent State.
Livingston, with 20 points, was not the leading scorer for Mason (2-3) but he found a way to be an impact on over 70 points for the Patriots in the Gulf Coast Showcase. Coming into the game Livingston was only averaging 11.5 ppg but it was thanks to 16 points against Division III school, Lebanon Valley.
The 5’11” guard also had five assists in the contest and sparked the Patriots three point game.
RELATED: HOUSTON BLOWS OUT GEORGE MASON
Prior to this match, Mason was 19.6 percent from behind the arc, hitting only 12 three pointers in four games played. With Livingston hitting three of his five attempts from long range, it allowed other shooters to find their grove as the Patriots would finish 7-16 from behind the arc (43.8 percent).
Marquise Moore would have a game-high 23 points, including two free throws with less than five seconds to go that would ice the game. Throughout the game Moore was constantly interchanged as a backdoor cutting threat, or as a guard on the wing that could charge to the basket. When the Patriots needed a basket, Moore would deliver.
Adding another game-high, 14 rebounds it was Moore’s third double-double of the season.
MUST READ: #JUMPBALL: RHODE ISLAND PROVES THEIR RANK
In the loss for Kent State (3-2), Jimmy Hall Jr. had 20 points and 12 rebounds. In the first seven minutes of the game, Hall had scored 13 of the Golden Flashes’ 16 and had matched the Patriots point-for-point.
As the game developed the Patriots began to slide over and help defensively whenever the 6’8” senior got the ball in the paint. Initially it quieted Hall but left the Flashes open for easy threes. Over time, Kent State’s shooting slowed down and Mason had the advantage.
In this game DeAndre Abram did not see any playing time and Justin Kier (10 points) started in his place for the fourth game in a row.
This was the second game for both teams in the Gulf Coast Showcase. With the win Mason will play in the fifth place game against Bradley (3-2). Kent State falls to the seventh place game where they will play Wofford (1-3).
Tip-off between Mason and Bradley is scheduled for 1:30 and will be the final game for both teams in the Gulf Coast Showcase.