Mason holds on for win in Richmond

OTIS RICH

Otis Livingston II made four straight free-throws in the last 7.7 seconds to seal the victory in Richmond and break the Spiders five game winning streak. George Mason has historically owned Richmond even dating back to the CAA days and now Dave Paulsen is 5-0 against them. The Patriots had a comfortable lead the whole game and had a balanced scoring attack. They got a big lift from freshman Javon Greene who had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Both teams were missing key guys, the Spiders had De’Monte Buckingham suspended (12.6 PPG) and Mason was without Jaire Grayer (foot sprain).

In Grayer’s absence they needed guys like Kier, Mar, Greene, and Boyd to step up and help fill the scoring void. Kier and Mar finished with 16 and 17 and it was great to see Mar find his mark on three-pointers again, he went 4-for-6 from there.

Photo by Bill Bride

Mason was able to build an early lead by hitting the offensive glass and getting second chances points. They were also uncharacteristically forcing a ton of turnovers, Kier and Greene combined for 10 steals on the night. But they weren’t without their share of turnovers as the Spiders got 19 points off their 17 turns.

Despite Mason’s four game losing streak heading into this one, they are now still just two games out of a tie for third place in the Atlantic 10. They have a great chance to move up these next two games with a trip to Fordham and the homecoming game against GW. Consistency hasn’t quite been there thing this season but they need to find some this month as they still have a chance to finish strong before March. This game proved that they can win without solely relying on Otis and Grayer for offense. Kier and Mar are big keys to this and they have to continue to make help make Mason tougher to defend.

Post game presser:

  • Foolsrushin63

    Much more balanced attack and it paid off in this one and is similar to the other solid wins this season. Once again, we also held on to win a close one. One of this team’s best attributes. Like how we ran a bit more too, although still not enough. Ronnie Thompson on the TV broadcast made the point others have made here that, given its makeup and skill set, Mason needs to run more. Interesting more balanced effort came with Grayer out. You wonder if there was a bit too much reliance by rest of team on Livingston and Grayer to carry the load in the recent losses and Grayer’s absence forced others to step up.

    • G-n-G

      I agree. For several games the team (especially the freshmen) have gotten stuck looking for Otis to bail them out especially on offense. That has produced bad, ineffective, and inefficient offense in most cases. The team is far better when they’re moving the ball and any of Otis, Justin, Jaire, Goanar, Ian, or Jevon can drive in when a handoff or pass produces a mismatch or seam in the defense to exploit.

  • Gamoo79

    Nice win, guys. Really hoping we can finish strong, or even semi-strong, to give us fans something to hang our hat on for next year. (A win over GW would be nice.)

    Maybe when our shooters get here next year, along with the big guy from UVA, we will see some real progress. Plus we won’t be the 15th youngest team in D1.

    Finish well guys, and let’s go get em in “Year 1, Part 2”, or whatever we’re calling it.

  • Chris Hirsch

    Underdogs at Fordham? Yeesh.

    • Gamoo79

      Beat Richmond. Lead Fordam by 10 at the half, then lose.
      Talk about a bipolar team. Good grief.

      • Chris Hirsch

        This group is allergic to sustained success.

  • Gamoo79

    I just keep saying to myself over and over “2 freshmen and a sophomore”. Surely it has to get better.

  • StopWearingPurple

    The GMU/Richmond game was rather tough to watch. Many of the steals by both sides were really the result of sloppy passes. There also seemed to be quite a few bricks put up by both teams. The VCU/URI game that same weekend displayed vastly greater talent on both teams.

  • Gamoo79

    Game today against GW “should” have been an excellent time to get to .500 in the conference and solidify a mid-pack finish.

    Now, a loss puts us back in the play-in category, Again. Sigh.

    • G-n-G

      If Mason hasn’t found a way to make GW pay for putting Watanabe on Otis, it’ll be a moot point to think about a Mason victory.

      • Gamoo79

        Can’t argue with that.

    • MasonFan4Life

      Doesn’t help to rue the past losses in “should’ve” scenarios. Accept the loss and move on. Today Fordham blew out Duquesne by 23 in an away game, so perhaps they weren’t as bad as we thought. We lost to both them and Duquesne.