ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (SDSU) — In a game that featured 14 lead changes and 14 tie scores, a George Mason University field goal with three seconds left made the difference in a 73-71 victory for the Patriots over South Dakota State in the Jacksonville Classic at Flagler Gymnasium on Monday.
A back-and-forth affair between the two sides saw George Mason claim the largest lead of the night of six midway through the second half. The Jackrabbits trimmed at the deficit over the next 10 minutes. With 2 minutes, 6 seconds remaining, a Zeke Mayo 3-pointer knotted the score at 69.
Following a Patriot turnover on their next possession, SDSU gained the advantage for the first time since the early moments of the second half. Luke Appel made a layup in traffic with exactly one minute on the clock to propel the Jacks ahead 71-69.
George Mason called a timeout and on its possession was fouled for a one-and-one opportunity at the free throw line. Baraka Okojie missed his first attempt, however the Patriots’ Amari Kelly snagged the rebound and was fouled for another one-and-one chance for George Mason. This time, Kelly hit two consecutive free throws to tie the score at 71-71 with 51 seconds left.
SDSU’s next possession featured a turnover, just one of a season-low six on the night, and the Patriots capitalized. George Mason’s Keyshawn Hall hit a jumper just inside the paint with three seconds on the clock for his 21st point of the night.
Mayo’s ensuing half-court attempt fell short as the Jackrabbits dropped a 73-71 decision to George Mason.
- Mayo served as the game’s leading scorer as he recorded 22 on 9 of 20 shooting. He also recorded a team-high 12 rebounds on his way to a double-double. Mayo became SDSU’s 53rd member of the program’s 1,000-point club as he came into the matchup with 997 career points.
- Joining Mayo in double digits scoring were Appel (13) and William Kyle III (14).
- George Mason took the lead in the second half thanks to opening the period 5-for-10 from deep. The Patriots finished the contest with a 40-29 edge on the boards. They made 9 of their 10 free throws while SDSU was 5-for-12 at the charity stripe.
- Hall paced four George Mason double-digit scorers while he also had a game-high 15 rebounds. Three different Patriots had four assists apiece.
- George Mason improved to 4-1 overall this season. South Dakota State dropped to 1-4.
South Dakota State travels to Hattiesburg, Miss., to close out its four-game stretch away from Brookings. The Jackrabbits take on Southern Miss at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.