George Mason continues to be road warriors as they won another one today in Amherst to beat UMass again 76-74. It came down to the last possession with Mason’s seniors Jalen Jenkins and Marquise Moore making key plays down the stretch to secure the win for Mason. Jenkins had a key defensive stop against UMass big man Rashaan Holloway and Moore had a key basket to maintain the lead:
Clearout for Marquise and he goes to work!
— Mason Basketball (@MasonMBB) January 28, 2017
Otis Livingston II however carried Mason most of the way in this one and has bounced back nicely these last two games from a bit of a slump. He led Mason with 22 points and helpled the offense run smooth as they finished with 17 assists. As a team they only had five total assists against George Washington. Jalen Jenkins, not being in constant foul trouble, was a big difference for them as well. He played 31 minutes and scored 15 points, had 12 rebounds, and three assists. They are so much better when he stays in the game for longer periods. With Jenkins playing more minutes it was less of a roll of the dice between the backup forwards. Only Troy Temara played among them and showed improvement while giving some of his best minutes of the season. But in the end they need Jenkins to be that rock in the middle to be competitive up front.
Mason continues to shoot the ball better on the road, especially in the first halves of games. They often come out with a ton of energy on the road and quickly build a double-digit lead. Why they can’t do that at home is still a mystery. Right now they are 8-2 on road/neutral site games and 6-5 at home this season. It’s great to see them once again play tough and get a win after a loss but it would also be great to put some more of these wins together. They struggle to play consistent, sound basketball lately but you can see how good they can be when they have things going their way and they are playing up to their strengths.
The Atlantic 10 continues to be a log jam in the middle of the standings and really a bunch of teams could easily move up if they can put together winning streaks. Mason has to put together some consecutive home wins though.
Dave Paulsen’s post game comments: