PHILADELPHIA – Saint Joseph's led by a point with two minutes to play but couldn't secure the win as George Mason pulled out a 75-67 victory in Atlantic 10 action at Hagan Arena.
In a game that featured six ties and 14 lead changes, Saint Joseph’s led, 63-62, before Livingston connected on a three-pointer at 1:42 to give George Mason the lead for good. The Hawks missed six shots and committed two turnovers down the stretch, while the Patriots made 10-of-10 from the foul line to ice the win.
Marquise Moore had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and surpassed 1,000 points for his career, to lead George Mason (12-5; 2-2 A-10) over the Hawks (8-7; 2-2).
Mason led by as much as six points early in the second half and held a 56-51 lead with 8:13 to play. The Hawks went on a 10-4 run, capped by a three-point play from Demery, to retake the lead, 61-60. After a jumper by Moore put the Patriots ahead again, Casper gave SJU its final lead of the game, 63-62, with a layup at 2:05.
In the opening minutes, Mason led by seven but Saint Joseph’s quickly got back in it with an 8-0 run, paced by five points from Kimble. After Kimble hit a late three-pointer, the Hawks owned a four-point lead, but Moore connected on a three-point play at :04 to trim it to 32-31 at the half.
"We're not winning games with 67 points. I don't know another way. Then 14 turnovers and you saw them. Even in the last play of the half, we panicked,” said SJU head coach Phil Martelli. “We had a really good practice yesterday, a really good offensive practice. But today we were just pulling and prodding each possession down the court. That's not successful for us."
"Livingston hit that three when we were up 63-62. Offensively, we ran a look. We wanted Charlie to raise up, and he said that the ball slipped out of his hands. But we even had a chance to make a layup to cut it. We had nothing offensively. We're putting too much on Fresh (Kimble). He's not an 18-shot guy. We just had too many empty possessions out there,” said Martelli.
George Mason shot 60.9 percent in the second half and shot 41.2 percent from three-point range in the game (7-for-17). Saint Joseph’s turned the ball over 14 times and connected on just 5-of-21 (23.8%) from behind the arc.
Moore became just the second Mason player to go over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in his career. Jaire Grayer scored 11 for Mason, with Livingston and Kamari Newman adding 10 points apiece.
The Hawks play their second straight home game on Saturday afternoon when they host Richmond at 12:30 p.m. in a nationally-televised contest (NBCSN).