FAIRFAX, Va. – George Mason pulled away late in the second half to defeat St. Bonaventure 68-53 on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Bank Arena.
Playing their first Atlantic 10 Conference game of the season, the Bonnies had a 44-42 lead after a layup by Kyle Lofton with 10:08 remaining. That capped a 14-2 run that started when St. Bonaventure had faced a 40-30 deficit.
George Mason, however, answered, draining three straight three-pointers. The Patriots made five of seven shots in a 14-0 surge that ended with the home team in front 56-44 with 5:34 left.
St. Bonaventure was 11-28 from the field in the second half and 23-59 (39 percent) for the game.
The Bonnies got off to a solid start, leading 9-2 early. They held the lead all the way until the 5:33 mark when the Patriots' all-conference senior guard Otis Livingston tied the score at 19. The game was tied at 25 in the closing seconds when Mason's Ian Boyd drained a three-pointer that gave the home team a 28-25 lead at halftime.
In addition to its poor shooting day, St. Bonaventure was out-rebounded 44-24 and only attempted three free throws.
Lofton led the Bonnies with 17 points and six assists, while senior Courtney Stockard added 16 points and a team-high five rebounds. Freshman center Osun Osunniyi scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds.
Head Coach Mark Schmidt:
"We got off to relatively good start, taking care of the ball, and we got some offense off our defense. In the first half we defended decently. Then in the first four minutes of the second half – we talk about how important that is -- we missed some layups and had some breakdowns. We missed some open shots. All through the game, we couldn't get to the free throw line and we couldn't rebound. That was the difference. We were not attacking the way we need to. We went into a lull, settled for too many jump shots. That was the game."
- Sunday marked the Bonnies' first loss to George Mason since the Patriots joined the A-10 (5-1).
- Dominick Welch played in his first game since suffering a foot injury against Georgia State on Nov. 19. Welch had two rebounds in three minutes of action.
- For the first time this season, St. Bonaventure was able to dress all 11 of its scholarship players. All 11 played.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure will host Saint Joseph's next Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m. It will be the Bonnies' first home game since Dec. 8.
- By Steve Mest, Associate Director of Athletics
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