Mason takes down first place Richmond

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George Mason bounced back after their loss to last place Saint Louis with a road win against first place Richmond. Since joining the Atlantic 10 in 2013 Mason is now 5-1 versus the Spiders and today’s win brought them to .500 within the conference at 3-3. Mason got off to a great start in the first half and led by as much as 23 points. They had to fight off a big Richmond run late in the second but their victory on the boards and at the free-throw line prevented them from letting this game slip away. Marquise Moore had his 12th double-double on the season with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and even three blocks. One of which was on 6’9″ TJ Cline that definitely deserves some recognition. Jalen Jenkins had success in the post against Cline and was able to get him into early foul trouble. That gave Mason a chance to build a solid lead for the majority of the game because the rest of the Spiders were struggling from the field. Defensively it was another great effort, as they continue to defend well on the road this season.

Otis Livingston II bounced back out of his recent slump and helped run an efficient offense in this one. He probably would have liked to have finished with more made shots but he was able to help Mason stay calm during Richmond’s full court press that slowly cut into their lead. He helped keep the game in control for Mason and not let things get out of hand. Jaire Grayer was also another factor in making sure Mason didn’t give this game away late. He collected some huge rebounds late and finished the day with 12 rebounds which is a new career high for him.

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Moore once again proved to be an extremely difficult player for Richmond to defend. I felt he could have gotten to line even more in this one if he wanted to. Richmond had no answer and his aggressiveness on both ends and ability to score in high volumes, without three-pointers, continues to baffle opposing teams. Once he gets going it’s hard to stop him:

We got see today also how good Jalen Jenkins can be when he’s not in foul trouble. His low post scoring was a big reason why Mason able to jump out to an early lead. It’s crazy that they don’t even need him to rebound well because they essentially already have that covered with the guards. You can really see the difference with this team when these two seniors get going early.

Dave Paulsen did a great job preparing them before this game. They had a plan and came out and executed it very well after an eight day layoff. Now they have a chance to follow up with a win over rival George Washington at home.

  • Matt Miles

    Yes the prep work for this game was outstanding. Richmond looked like the proverbial “Deer in Headlights” for much of the first 5 min. or so of the first half as Mason just ran circles around them. With great defensive stands and working the ball inside Mason built a quick lead that had the entire arena stunned and silent.
    I was really surprised at the play of Jenkins. I know he has the talent to do a lot of good things but as you said foul trouble seems to get in his way. It seemed as though (maybe because of the prep for the game) he was not overly aggressive with Cline in the first part of the 1st half. Cline had some looks that he didn’t take advantage of and some others that he made Jenkins say “oops I should have been out on him.” With only Cline doing much of the scoring in the first half Mason was able to keep Richmond down.
    Hearing the fans around me complain about stopping Mason from getting in the paint was really funny. They were so frustrated that Moore and Jenkins were just having their way with drives and low post offense. I think that Mason really matched up well with Richmond. No real inside presence to keep Moore and others from driving to the basket and Richmond’s guards seemed smaller that Masons so that created some advantages on the boards.
    Mooney made some adjustments for the 2nd half but trying to overcome a 20 point disadvantage twice in one game is tough for any team. Buckingham seemed out of it trying to keep up with Moore by the end of the game. Otis hit some really important free throws at the end. I was worried that Mason was leaving to many opportunities for Richmond to get close or even tie with under a minute left because of the missed free throws but Mason had some good defense to keep Richmond from getting clean looks from the 3 point line.
    So glad that I went to the game! So glad that Mason won! Richmonds Robin Center is really nice. The staff was outstanding from the people greeting you at the door to the concession workers. I was impressed. Seats 5 rows from the court for $12 is great too. How come I can’t get that from GMU? GO MASON!!!!!

  • SkinsGMU

    Seems that we go as Moore and Jenkins go. Without them playing strong the supporting cast just can’t seem to get us over the hump. I thought they played great defense in the second half and seemed to force Richmond into a lot of bad shots. We are definitely more patient then at the beginning of the season.

    • StopWearingPurple

      The last two games have really shown that we go as Moore and Jenkins go.

    • Gamoo79

      Agree with the last two posts about Moore and Jenkins. Boyd seems built to become the next Moore (they remind me of Myron Contee of the mid ’70’s), but unless Tamara or Relvao really step it up, we don’t seem to have another Jenkins on the horizon. Recruit coach Dave, recruit baby!!

  • Chris Hirsch

    Can Mason just play the rest of the season on the road?

  • Quel Esteve

    I got to watch this one as game time was Euro friendly. Amazing how the two seniors have taken it upon themselves to lead the team. Underclassmen are developing pretty fast too after the ton of minutes they got last year as freshmen. Seems like this season is going to be, heck it already is, a lot more fun than anticipated. If everything keeps going more or less this way it seems like we should be OK come tournament time. I don’t see any team in the A10 so far we cannot have a chance against. What a great, and fast, turnaround coach Paulsen is getting.