FAIRFAX, VA. 2/10/2019 – The La Salle Explorers came in on a four-game winning streak. The George Mason Patriots were on a 2-game skid. A streak was going to end. It would be the Explorers winning streak as George Mason earns an 84 – 76 win at the Eagle Bank Arena. Pookie Powell led the Explorers with 18 points and handed out 6 assists, a season-best.
Five La Salle players scored in double figures. Four George Mason players got double-figures led by Javon Greene with a career-high 21 points. He also took down 7 rebounds.
This was game of runs, and in the end the inability to get defensive stops cost La Salle.
Today was a matter of us getting two stops,” said La Salle Coach Ashley Howard. “We’ve done that consistently over the past couple of weeks. Today, we weren’t able to manufacture the stops we needed in order to give ourselves a chance to win it at the end. Their players stepped up when they needed to.”
The Patriots got out early, the Explorers answered and went into halftime leading 39 – 37. Mason answered back taking an 8-point lead six and a half minutes into the second half. La Salle responded with a 12 – 3 run to move in front by a point midway through the second half. It would be their last lead, but LSU would tie the game twice more.
Forward Ed Croswell made a layup to cut the deficit to 78 – 76 with 1:50 on the clock. The Explorers would not score again.
La Salle shot the ball well from distance making 11 of 27. Saul Phiri had a season-high tying made three-pointers with 5. He scored 17 points. Isiah Deas and Traci Carter contributed 12 points and David Beatty added 11 points.
“I felt like we took good ones (three-pointers), the ball was moving, I felt like we got wide open ones late in the game that we made early in the game,” Howard said about the Explorers shooting from beyond the arc. “At the end of the game, we did not make them and it made a difference.”
There was just a little too much Mason offense. Over the last four games the Explorers gave up an average of 62 points.
Jarred Reuter scored 16 points. Otis Livingston II scored 14 points. Justin Kier added 13 points and 8 rebounds.
George Mason (14 – 10, 8 – 3) hosts UMass. The Patriots join 4 teams with 8 wins at the top of the conference. Davidson and VCU have 2 losses.
La Salle (7 – 15, 5 – 5) returns home to face Duquesne. The Explorers are in 9th place in the Atlantic 10, a half game behind Saint Louis.
“This is another opportunity for our guys to learn from, a lot of valuable teaching points,” said Howard.
Written By: Glenn Papazian