George Mason (3-3) spread the scoring out to a season-high nine players to claim fifth place in the Gulf Coast Showcase by beating Bradley (3-3) 77-66.
In Germain Arena, the Patriots played one of their most complete games on the season. Mason won the rebounding battle (50-35), notched an assist for every turnover (10 each), and limited their foul trouble (only one player had more than four).
Scoring a career-high 22 points, 16 of those in the second half, Otis Livingston II continued the success from the previous game against Kent State. Livingston shot 8-13 from the field while adding three rebounds and three assists.
Once again, Marquise Moore added his fourth double-double in the team’s six games. He had 17 points and 15 rebounds as a 6’2” guard. On the season he now is averaging 17.7 ppg and 9.5 rpg, both of which lead the team by a wide margin.
The Braves struggled to disrupt the Patriots offensive flow on the night and had to rely on empty possessions to get the ball out of the Patriots hands. As a team, Bradley only forced seven steals.
Defensively, Mason challenged the Braves to take mid-to-long range shots. With Bradley shooting only at 38 percent in the game it generally paid off for Mason. However the team making seven three point baskets allowed the Braves to keep the game interesting into the late stages.
Darrell Brown was the team’s leading scorer with 15 points as the Braves had 12 players enter the contest.
Continuing to grow as a starter, Justin Kier had another great outing for Mason.
Following Kier’s career-high in points against Kent State, he reached double figures in rebounding for the first time with 10. He would go on to add eight points on the night, and most importantly have no turnovers.
A big factor in Mason’s victory: the bench.
All season George Mason has relied on the play of their starters, with their bench getting little to no production. That is to be expected though for a team that lacks depth with five sophomores and six freshmen. Without a doubt Wednesday’s contest was their best performance on the year.
Five players saw action coming off the bench. They would combine for 15 points, 6-11 field goal shooting, 2-3 from the line, five rebounds, two steals, and only one turnover.
This was the Patriots second win in two days and placed them in fifth place at the Gulf Coast Showcase. Both victories were against teams that were ranked higher than the Patriots in the latest KenPom ratings prior to the game.
Mason will return back home with a .500 record to take on former CAA rival James Madison this Saturday.