Homecoming victory over Fordham moves Mason to 7-5 in A-10

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First of all, great win and great atmosphere last night. Crowds like that is what George Mason basketball needs more often, it makes a difference. Last night’s victory moves Mason to 7-5 in the Atlantic 10 but it wasn’t easy as Fordham fought back late in the game. They were able to fight off the Rams’ late surge by sticking to their game and getting to the foul line. They dominated the boards with a huge effort from Jalen Jenkins who finished with 13 rebounds (8 offensive). Marquise Moore had another double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Otis Livingston II led all scorers with 19 points and led Mason down the stretch going 8-for-8 at the free-throw line. Mason is now 14-3 when they make at least 15 free-throw attempts in a game. They had 25 attempts from there on the night compared to Fordham’s six. Certainly wasn’t the easy win many might have expected but Mason able to get a great win to help them stay in the top half of the conference standings.

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Karmari Newman returned to the line-up and a gave off a spark on offense off the bench that the team has been missing the last few games. Defensively he also gave some good minutes along with Troy Temara. But once again it was the starters that paced the team with all but Jenkins playing over 30 minutes. Otis Livingston II continues to keep things rolling for Mason and he and Moore combined for 10 assists on the night.

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The overall ball sharing continues to be excellent and has really progressed as the season has gone on. They fought through countless double-teams last night and still found the open man often. I really like the confidence we are seeing as it is translating into very efficient offense. That confidence will be put to the test in the coming weeks.

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[Photos by Bill Bride]

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikhernquist Erik Hernquist

    I made the trip up for the festivities and the game. The whole family had a great time.

    I concur on your observation on sharing the ball. Last night they kept passing until they found a wide open shot. It’s so refreshing to see such a young team play together and have confidence in everyone else on the floor. I’m loving the Paulsen era.

  • Gamoo79

    Don’t want to jinx anything with a tough final six games ahead, but might we see a 20 win season?
    (Darn those Billikins. How could we possibly lose twice to a team that has Casper the Friendly Ghost as a mascot?)

    • dsnjd1

      I think that those two losses against St. Louis are Mason’s worst of the year…..unless you want to consider the Mount St. Mary’s loss and the Towson loss (both winnable games ) in early the year. Towson, a former CAA opponent is now a respectable 17-10, but “The Mount” is only 14-13 against a lesser quality of competition.

      • Gamoo79

        Indeed. They were both early season games before we got our legs under us, but still, should have won them both.

        • StopWearingPurple

          Those losses to MSM and Towson along with the JMU close call really had me worried about the season. Too much scar tissue from the Blewitt era. I will learn to be more patient with Dave.

  • StopWearingPurple

    Great win and great atmosphere. It was concerning to see them get enamored with their ball handling skills which lead to 18 turnovers. Hopefully they tighten that up for the tough home stretch.