BB

The George Mason Patriots Basketball team met the Explorers of LaSalle University this past Saturday. The Patriots played at home in what was probably one of the finest games that they’ve played in a season of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last encounter between the two teams in January resulted in a win for the Patriots and history would repeat itself in dominate fashion.

The first half began with a three-pointer made by La Salle’s David Beatty with an assist from teammate Jhamir Brickus and momentarily seemed that the Explorers would be off to a great start. However good defense by the Patriots led by Javon Greene kept LaSalle from scoring and would set up for what was to come.

The onslaught began at the 18:29 mark as Mason’s AJ Wilson hit a jumper followed by a field goal by Greene at the 17:56 mark that would put the Patriots in the lead and from then on it was pedal to the metal for the Patriots. For the next six and a half minutes Wilson and Greene would put up a combined 17 points that would widen Mason’s lead. 

Mason’s Tyler Kolek would also contribute heavily with a trio of three-pointers and three complete free-throws in the first half. The stars aligned for Mason as Jordon Miller would score in the final seconds of the first half giving the Patriots a commanding lead of 47-23.

The second half would begin similarly as the first as La Salle’s Christian Ray would get a layup ten seconds into play but Javon Greene would answer back less that 20 seconds later with a three-pointer. LaSalle would continue to chase the Patriots who would maintain an over 30-point lead throughout the game.

It wouldn’t just be Greene, Wilson, and Kolek maintaining the pace, Jordan Miller would put up seven points in the half, Josh Oduro could contribute with two complete free throws, and Bahaide Haidara would put up six points. 

Mason’s lead was so commanding that with four minutes to go some players who don’t normally get a chance to get into the game got a few minutes to shine as well. Mehki McCray would score his first career basket in his final home game and Jack Tempchin would get a rebound and a steal for his contributions.

The Patriots would win over the Explorers in commanding fashion 89-54, AJ Wilson, Tyler Kolek, Javon Greene, and Jordan Miller would all walk out with double digit scores from this performance. Mason will head to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Richmond standing in sixth place and have secured a first-round bye.

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