The Massachusetts Minutemen looked to be running away with this one as they were up 58-48 with 5:15 to go in the game. Patrick Holloway would step to the free throw line for the George Mason Patriots and hit both attempts that would spark a 10-2 run that lasted until the 55 second mark.
UMass, who struggled with free throw shooting all game finishing just 10-17 for the game, hit six of seven attempts under the one minute mark to seal the game. One scary moment in particular was a Cady Lalanne miss on the front end of a one-and-one with the Minutemen up 62-61. Trey Davis however, was able to snag the long rebound and knock down his two freebies.
Cady Lalanne finally returned to form with his 10 points and 14 rebounds. Seven of those 14 boards were offensive and he led UMass to a team total of 20, which is a season high. On defense he had three blocks and two steals. But more importantly was his ability to avoid foul trouble and stay on the court. Unfortunately Maxie Esho picked up the slack in that department. He picked up his third foul early in the second half and eventually fouled out with 1:27 left in the game. He still managed eight points and three boards.
Both teams traded moderate first half leads but it was George Mason who ended the half with a 35-33 lead. Both squads were hot from behind the arc and at one point combined for 10-11.
Five Minutemen would hit a three pointer today going 8-18 but only one would hit multiple threes. That would be Trey Davis who was 4-8 from deep and added two free throws for his team high 14 points. He also added six boards (three big offensive ones) but had four turnovers and just one assist.
Despite the early three point barrage both the Minutemen and Patriots struggled shooting wise from the field. UMass shot 39.3 percent and the Patriots were just behind them with 38.2. The big number of the day though were rebounds as UMass had six more total boards and three more offensive.
Shevon Thompson had a big day for the Patriots as he led the team in scoring (12), rebounding (16), and blocks (5). Stats wise he may have bested Lalanne but on the court each were pretty equally pivotal for their teams.
Bench play for both teams was pretty good as UMass had 25 bench points and George Mason had 22. Patrick Holloway and Corey Edwards had 11 points each for the Patriots and played big minutes at the end. UMass had a much more balanced bench attack with four players making it into the scoring column. While Jabarie Hinds led the bench with 11 points it was Demetrius Dyson and Zach Coleman who had the impressive day. Both hit a three and Coleman had seven points and five boards.
UMass makes it two and a row with a 2-1 record in the A-10 and 9-7 overall. This was a very winnable game for them and they did just what they needed to do. George Mason falls to 6-9 (1-2). The Minutemen will be back in Amherst for a Wednesday night game against the Davidson Wildcats.