George Mason lost to Saint Louis yet again last night, 76-74 on a last second bucket in double overtime. It was a heartbreaking loss even despite the fact that Mason didn’t play well for most of the game. Marquise Moore was not himself and they had to go without him for most of the second half and the overtime periods due to an illness. Otis Livingston II picked up the lack and had one of his best shooting nights of his career. He went 10-for-15 from the field and was 5-of-7 on three-pointers. Jalen Jenkins had a tough time getting going in the post with the fact that the refs were really letting both teams play, especially late in the game. But where they lost this game was on defense as they allowed the Billikens wide open looks most of the night. Yes, they only made 8-of-28 from behind the arch but rotations were just bad last night and it led to a lot of opportunity for Saint Louis.
Reggie Agbeko out-worked Mason for the second time this season and created problems in the front court. It just comes down to the fact that Mason just doesn’t do well when Jenkins and Moore are limited. They really struggled on both ends in the second half without Moore. Karmari Newman didn’t play, for whatever reason, and they certainly could have used him on the defensive end last night. Kameron Murrell saw some action instead but he isn’t as good of a defender and went 0-for-4. Even with Livingston’s heroics they still couldn’t escape with a win, which is a little alarming when you think about this team next season without Moore. They need better play from their bench and they need more consistent shooters each night. Grayer had 16 points but needed 18 shots to get there. Also starter Justin Kier isn’t much of an offensive weapon but is out there because of his ball-handling and court vision. With that being said they need more production from their bench if that’s going to be the case each night.
Mason continues the win-loss pattern in conference play and falls to 4-5 in the A-10. Lately they have been losing the rebounding and free-throw line battles that gave them early success in the year. Lack of depth has been an issue and it often leaves them with a razor thin margin of error threshold each game. Last night was a big example of this as they struggled while being short-handed.