Photo by Chris Jones / By George
In one of the cathedrals of college basketball, Marquise Moore put on the performance of his career.
With 17 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists, Moore recorded his first career triple-double to accentuate George Mason’s 79-60 win over Penn in the Palestra. It was the team’s seventh straight victory in a row.
The feat was accomplished in true Moore fashion.
Already in control of the game, up 67-55 with four minutes left, Moore was a single assist away. Moore, running the point, quickly looked to dribble penetrate inside but drew three towering defenders. The 6’2” guard kicked the ball out to Jaire Grayer, who was 0-5 with four fouls prior to the play, and Grayer hit a flush three ball to give Mason a 15-point lead.
Throughout the season, Moore has been a double-double machine with this being his seventh of the year for George Mason (8-3). However they were always in points and rebounds, never in assists, which Moore had been averaging 3.1 per game on the season.
Jalen Jenkins took advantage of a team with a four-guard line-up, something Mason has not seen since the Gulf Coast Showcase, with a game high 22 points. Throughout the game, Jenkins, 9-11 shooting, kept himself out of foul trouble and was fed the ball, playing for 35 minutes.
Besides Grayer, the entire line-up limited the fouls with only 11 in the game.
Once again the Patriot defense kept their opponents quiet from behind the three point line, 25 percent in the game. The Quakers best three point shooter in the game, Jackson Donahue, came off the bench and went 3-8 behind the arc, the rest of the team 4-20.
Matt Howard lead the team with 15 points and seven rebounds followed by AJ Brodeur (11 points) who kept the Quakers (3-5) in the contest until late.
Throughout the game Mason shot the ball well, going 51 percent from the field, 44 percent from behind the arc, and 88 percent at the charity stripe. This was the result of the team’s smart shot selection.
Besides some rushed shots against a 1-3-1 zone, the Patriots rarely took a bad shot or a rushed one. A majority of the possessions utilized the full duration of the shot clock, forcing Penn to play defense for longer periods of time.
As has been seen in previous contests, Mason’s opponents then have shorter offensive possessions taking a semi-open basket rather than waiting for one to develop.
While this game was closer than the score indicated, Mason dominated in the final eight minutes of the game and went on a 22-5 run to close it out.
Otis Livingston II was the third Patriot to reach double figures with 13 points. In total, eight players saw the ball go through the net for Mason.
The seventh win in a row is the team’s longest since the program won 16 in a row in 2011 with Jim Larranaga as the head coach. That was the last season Mason made the NCAA tournament. The streak has also put Mason in third place in the Atlantic 10 conference standings, trailing only Dayton and St. Bonaventure.
Returning home for a quick game on Monday against Longwood, it will start a four game homestand. In that stretch Mason will kick off conference play on Dec. 30 against VCU where the team will be looking to continue their success against the Atlantic 10.