Down seven points with a minute remaining, George Mason looked down for the count against their kryptonite Fordham. Old Mason teams would have thrown in the towel, but Dave Paulsen’s crew never gave up.
Despite being 1-12 from behind the arc on the night George Mason needed threes, and a little bit of luck, to comeback.
First an open three pointer by Marquise Moore; 36 seconds remaining and down four. Two free throws by Javontae Hawkins would put the lead back up to six.
Otis Livingston II then with a three from the top of the floor, Mason within three with 23 seconds left.
Antwoine Anderson misses a free throw, rebound by Moore. Going coast-to-coast the senior guard took it all the way to drive to the rim. Mason down one.
Another free throw miss by Anderson gave the Patriots another chance. Moore drives to the rim, misses but a foul; six seconds remaining. At the line Moore would miss two free throws, but the freshman Justin Kier pulled down the biggest rebound of his young career.
Ensuing inbounds pass saw Moore throw it out to the wing for Livingston. He would drive wide open through the lane and in the final moment dished it Jalen Jenkins who would lay it in and tie the game at 65 at the buzzer.
From there Mason would go on to outscore Fordham 17-6 in the overtime period and win their first Atlantic 10 tournament game 82-71 in PPG Paints Arena.
Recording his 19th double-double on the season, the senior Moore made sure that he was going end his career with at least one postseason win. Leading Mason with 25 points and 19 rebounds, both Mason Atlantic 10 postseason records, Moore ensured the Mason victory.
Besides his two misses in the final seconds, the 6’2″ guard was perfect at the line (8-10 overall). Playing 43 minutes he only headed to the bench twice in the entire contest.
Jenkins’ buzzer beater gets added to his long list of clutch shots in the final seconds of games. Quietly the senior had 10 points and seven rebounds on the night.
George Mason (20-12, 9-9 A10) controlled almost the entirety of the game until the final minutes of the second half. Winning the rebounding advantage 52-22, drawing 21 fouls, and 16 second chance points it was a shock this was a close game.
Three pointers are what kept the Rams in the contest though.
Taking over for the Rams in the second half, Hawkins scored 13 points on only seven shots, including two monster three pointers with the game within one possession. He would finish with 23 points.
As a team Fordham (13-19, 7-11), hit nine three pointers on the night, none of which came in the final seven minutes of game action. The Patriots would finish 5-17 from behind the arc, despite missing their first nine attempts.
Livingston added 17 points and seven rebounds, while Jaire Grayer had 15 points and seven boards as well.
Winning their first A10 tournament game, No. 7 George Mason will now move on to play No. 2 VCU on Friday at 6:00. On the season Mason is 0-2 against the Rams, but hey we now know you can never count these guys out.
It is called March Madness for a reason.