George Mason out-played UMass for almost the whole night but turnovers and missed lay-ups let the Minutemen stay in the game and force overtime. Otis Livingston II had one of his best games ever with 33 points, nine assists, six rebounds, and 11-for-11 from the free throw line. We’ve been waiting for a game like this from Otis this season. Jaire Grayer also found his rhythm scoring 20 points and hitting three three-pointers. Freshman Greg Calixte made a big difference in this game by playing 31 minutes with eights points and 12 rebounds. He had a great night despite the fact that he had the tough task of guarding UMass’s 6’11”, 310 pound monster Rashaan Holloway. They need these type of nights from Calixte, who is now comfortably taking over a starting spot at the five. Mason out-rebounded them last night and Calixte was a big reason for that.
This is more of the Mason team I had thought we’d be seeing this year. They finally looked like they wanted to push the ball more on offense and get some easy fast break points. A lot of these attempts were missed but I still liked that they were being aggressive and using their guard heavy lineup to their advantage. Also it was great to see their rebounding efforts lead to second change points, Ian Boyd had a big rebound in overtime that led to an Otis and one play that sealed the victory. Overall they just looked better playing as a team. A lot had to do with Otis’ big night and they can’t rely on that every game but we saw the continued fight in this one and that’s very encouraging.
Last night also reminded us all of what made last year’s team so good. Their team rebounding was on almost every night and they were able to out-rebound a lot of bigger teams. It’s a team effort and ‘gang-rebounding’ style is needed for these guys to be competitive. Now let’s see if they can keep this up in the upcoming three-game home stand they have.
Post game presser: