Another conference win at home yesterday for George Mason as they took down Saint Louis in a game that came down to the wire. Otis Livingston II (26 points) and Jaire Grayer (25 points) led Mason to this win with freshman Greg Calixte also being a big factor in the middle. Calixte continuing to be play strong up front, on both ends, has been a big difference maker for the team. He’s scoring in the post, blocking shots, and getting tough rebounds. Mason now sits at 3-2 in the Atlantic 10 with a lot of tough games still to play but still right in the thick of it within the conference.
Wow what a finish. George Mason in-bounded the ball with only five seconds remaining and Otis Livingston II hit a three-pointer from way out to seal the win 81-79. Otis has been playing his best basketball of the season lately and he had 5-of-6 shooting on three-pointers and a game high 25 points in this one. Justin Kier had his first ever double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. This was a nice rebound game from the beating that Davidson gave them last weekend and now they are right in the thick of it in the Atlantic 10 standings at 2-2.
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.
The second season for George Mason didn’t look much different than the first one last night as the Patriots dropped their Atlantic 10 opener on the road to Rhode Island 83-64. Mason continues to come out flat in the first halves of games this year and then try to catch up in the second. The team also continues to struggle mightily shooting the ball and three point shooting is almost non-existent. Justin Kier lead all Mason players with 15 points and has been their most consistent player of late, but has yet to hit a three-pointer this season. Mason is trotting out a guard-heavy lineup that can’t shoot threes and having trouble in all areas on defense. That’s just not good. They could sure use a guy like Jeff Dowtin.
The non-conference portion of George Mason’s schedule is now over and the Patriots have slugged their way to an unimpressive 6-7 record. To be honest, they were lucky to escape that portion of the schedule with six wins, especially when you consider how poor they played in most games, some against lower level competition (CSUN, JMU). Dave Paulsen peddled the “Two Year Season” talk early and most fans, whether they like or not, should really judge this season after the 2018-19 one is complete. I still don’t believe this current group, even though facing tough roster limitations, is as bad as we’ve seen for the majority of 13 games played so far. There’s a lot Paulsen has to address heading into Atlantic 10 conference play, which begs the question of what kind of impact would UVA transfer Jarred Reuter have on this team?
George Mason picked up a win to avoid a three-game home losing streak against Morgan State last night 86-79. They scored 54 points in the second half and shoot over 52% from the field. Justin Kier came up big on the night scoring 22 points, and Jaire Grayer finally gave Mason some three-point scoring going 5-of-7 from there. Morgan State’s best player made his season debut and gave Mason fits scoring 31. The Patriots got the line a lot in this one, rare for this season, and were able to not let turnovers be there undoing. Otis Livingston II, Ian Boyd, and Goanar Mar were collectively 17-18 from the free-throw line proving once again when they get the attempts they can do damage in that area. Mason’s key guys stepped up and made plays and that was something we really wanted to see heading into conference.
Last season George Mason surprised many by beating Penn State on the road by 19 points and dominating the glass. This season without Marquise Moore and Jalen Jenkins the Patriots struggled to keep the Nittany Lions out of the paint and lost at home 72-54. Mason’s overall size disadvantage is becoming more and more of a glaring weakness at this season rolls on. They went 0-for-14 on three-pointers and struggled to get any good open looks for most of the night. Freshman Greg Calixte started in place of Ian Boyd to give Mason more size upfront and though he’s getting better battling in the post, it’s still their weakest area on the court.
George Mason have only won twice in of their last seven games including a loss last night to Georgia Southern. Mason looked bad on both ends, turning over the ball 21 times (!) and shooting 28% from the field and 17% on three-pointers. Otis Livingston II and Grayer combined for 12 points, difficult for Mason to get anything going with each of these guys having an off night. AJ Wilson came in and played a lot of good minutes and picked up his first career double-double (13 pts, 10 reb) and we saw Kier being more assertive on offense. It still appears that Dave Paulsen is figuring things out with this year’s limited roster but right they really seem to lack perimeter defense and a go-to scorer on offense.
George Mason found themselves down 22-2 on the road at Auburn yesterday. It was another slow start for Patriots, something that is started to become a recurring theme in their games this season. The early turnovers and fouls killed them early and like many games this year they made a big comeback in the second half. At one point they took the lead but a scoring drought after a 9-0 run to bring them back within four points left them on the losing end. Auburn’s man-to-man defense was much better than Mason’s and Otis Livingston II was struggling to get free for the most of the game. The Tigers didn’t let them in the paint much at all and as a result their offense was limited for long stretches. Jaire Grayer came up big in the second half and freshman Javon Greene had his breakout game of the year scoring 17 points and hitting five three-pointers. However, Auburn owned the glass and out-rebounded Mason 46-30 while scoring 15 second chance points.