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20 January, 2019

The Monday Morning Quarterback

Livingston, George Mason Drop Fordham at the Buzzer

[ PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST ]
January 20, 2019
Peter Solari, Editor in Chief 


The George Mason men's basketball team is on fire!

The Patriots erased a 9-point deficit in the final 5 minutes, and shocked Fordham when senior Otis Livingston II's 3-pointer with less than a second left in the game, broke a 68-all tie at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA Saturday night, and sent Mason to their fifth win in the past six contests, 71-68.


The game was a struggle for the Patriots as their typically-reliable  defense was nowhere to be found in the first half, and the Rams took a 38-34 lead into the break. From George Mason University Athletics:
After the Rams shot 50 percent in the first half, Mason hunkered down and limited Fordham to just 37 percent (10-27) in the second. In a stretch where the Patriots missed five open 3-pointers midway through the half and Fordham led by five, Mason remained vigilant on the defensive end and did not let the margin increase. That greatly helped the overall mindset of the club as the Patriots mounted the comeback late in the game.

After Fordham took a 9-point lead with 5:25 left in the second half, Mason used a 10-0 run to take a 65-64 lead at the 3:07 mark. More from GMU Athletics:
After Fordham went back up one, Livingston II was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and made all the free throws to put Mason up 68-66. However, the same thing happened on the ensuing Fordham possession, as Jalen Cobb was fouled shooting a 3 with 23 seconds left. He made two of the three to tie it at 68-68.

After a timeout, Livingston took the inbound pass and went to work. The rest is history. Watch:


“I knew it was going in,” said Mason junior Justin Kier. “If you asked the team right now who we would want to take that last shot, nine times out of 10 — actually, no, 10 times out of 10 — it’s Otis."

The Patriots closed the game on a 16-4 run and improved their record to 11-8 overall, and 5-1 in the Atlantic 10, their best league-start since joining the A-10 prior to the 2014 season. Mason is 9-3 over their last 12 games.

"This was a heck of a win," head coach Dave Paulsen said. "In the first half, we weren't as sharp defensively as we've been, We had to hang our hat on the defensive end and we stepped it up in the second half."

Kier once again led the way for Mason, dropping 18 points and pulling down a game-high 9 rebounds. Livingston finished with 17 points and 6 assists, while redshirt junior Jarred Reuter added 8 points to go along with his game-high 9 rebounds. Freshman sensation Jordan Miller finished with 9 points.

Fordham, who fell to 9-9 on the season and 0-5 in the A-10, was led by Nick Honor's game-high 21 points and 5 rebounds, while Antwon Portley contributed 13 points and 3 rebounds of his own.

Next up, the red-hot Patriots will hit the road and head to Ohio, where they'll do battle with perennial A-10 powerhouse Dayton on Wednesday at UD Arena.  Tip-off is slated for 7 PM ET.


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[ PHOTO: DETROIT FREE PRESS ]
January 19, 2019
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Run over: No. 2 Michigan loses for first time this season

CLOSE Wisconsin's Ethan Happ (22) and Michigan's Jon Teske (15) battle for a rebound during the first half. Happ finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Teske had 15 points as the Badgers won 64-54 Saturday. (Photo: Andy Manis, AP) Madison, Wis. - Rough 3-point shooting. Season-high tying 16 turnovers.



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