Men's Basketball

George Washington Overwhelms George Mason with Mismatches

There has been a reoccurring theme for the George Mason this season, teams that have a considerable height advantage tend to control the Patriots. In the latest edition of the Revolutionary Rivalry on Wednesday night, George Washington exploited the Patriots size and constantly controlled the mismatches for an 87-68 win.

Tyler Cavanaugh was left wide open throughout the contest as a post player that would often rotate out to the arc. Leading the Colonials with 19, Cavanaugh dominated going 3-4 from long range, almost all uncontested.

George Washington (11-9, 3-4 Atlantic 10) took advantage of George Mason’s aggressive help defense in the post, kicking it out to Cavanaugh who would always rotate to the wing or the corner.

Cavanaugh was not alone. Sophomore, Jordan Roland got hot from deep range (5-6) off of the bench and also added 20 points.

Shooting 11-19 from behind the arc, the Colonials always found the open man when the ball was under the basket. It could not have been said better from first year Colonial head coach Maurice Joseph, “we were passing up good shots for great shots.”

As a team they assisted on 18 of the teams 24 baskets. George Mason (13-7, 3-4) only had four assists in the contest.

Pace was dictated so well by the Colonials that somehow, Otis Livingston II, the second shortest player to play in the contest ended up on the 6’9” Yuta Watanabe. Finishing two rebounds short of a double-double, Watanabe had 12 points and perhaps was the best all-around player on the court all night. He was perfect at the line (8-8) with three assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Livingston fared well himself, scoring 17 points and potentially getting out of his shooting funk hitting seven of his 14 shots. Late in the contest, with Jalen Jenkins and Jaire Grayer fouled out and Mason down double digits, Livingston did not let down and pushed the issue.

“If we don’t shoot well early, we allow that to dictate our energy and our defensive focus,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We have to be built to win a game that’s 54-50.”

In the first half Mason, again was an atrocious 10-31.

Officials did not help efforts by any means for Mason. The first half of the game it appeared the stripes were going to let the physical play go back and forth, that story-line quickly changed by the second media timeout.

Mason would end up with 26 fouls with three players fouled out, including Kameron Murrell who only played in seven minutes.

That’s how the night went for the Patriots.

Somehow Marquise Moore pulled out his thirteenth double with a mere single rebound at the half. The double-double machine totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds for the contest but was 5-15 from the field and 5-10 at the line.

Jenkins (six points) was kept as a non-factor battling foul trouble again. Grayer, who actually played an undervalued performance, could not get going from his normal spot on the court. In other ways he contributed with seven boards, two blocks and a steal.

Just to throw together some more other unfavorable stats, Mason was 65 percent at the line. Over alf of their misses came from Moore, who is one of the top ten players in the country at getting to the line.

Mason made only one three on eight attempts being from Ian Boyd, who finished with 12. Thirteen turnovers did not help matters either for the team.

Losing keeps the Patriots winless in the Revolutionary Rivalry since its inception in 2013. At home in EagleBank Arena the team is now 6-5 overall on the season, 1-3 against Atlantic 10 opponents.

Guess Mason needs to stay on the road where they are 5-1 on the year, which they do on Saturday when they play Massachusetts.


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