George Mason went on a 14-0 run in the second half and defeated St. Bonaventure, 68-63, on Sunday the Patriots' first victory over the Bonnies as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference.
A second straight poor outside shooting performance and a 44-24 rebounding deficit led to the defeat for Bona (4-10, 0-1 A-10).
"All through the game, we couldn't get to the free throw line and we couldn't rebound. That was the difference," Bona coach Mark Schmidt said. "We were not attacking the way we need to. We went into a lull, settled for too many jump shots. That was the game."
Freshman guard Kyle Lofton led the Bonnies with 17 points and senior forward Courtney Stockard had 16 but that was more than half of the team's 53 point. Jalen Poyser and Nelson Kaputo suffered through miserable shooting games. They were a combined 2 for 16 in field goal attempts, 2-10 from three-point range. Bona made 5 of 20 3-pointers for 25.0 percent on top of a 3-for-19 outing in the previous loss at Syracuse. The Bonnies were outrebounded, 44-24, and had only three free-throw attempts, making two.
Bona led 44-42 with 10:08 to go before the Patriots big run which started with three straight 3-pointers. When it was over GMU had a 56-44 lead with 5:34 to play.
Best news on the Bona side was the return to action by freshman guard Dominick Welch (Cheektowaga) got in for three minutes after missing the previous nine games with a foot injury. He had two rebounds and no points. It was the first game all season that Schmidt was able to dress all 11 scholarship players and all played Sunday.
Junior guard Justin Kier led George Mason with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Point guard Otis Livingston III had 13 points.
St. Bonaventure will play its first home game since Dec. 8 against Saint Joseph's at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at the Reilly Center.
Niagara plays at Fairfield
After their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener at Manhattan got away from them on Saturday, Niagara’s Purple Eagles will stay on the road to face Fairfield on the Stags' George Bisacca Court at Alumni Hall on the campus in Connecticut.
The Purple Eagles were outscored, 16-2, in the final 4:02 in the 90-80 loss to Manhattan.
Coach Sydney Johnson and his Fairfield team know how Niagara feels. The Stags let double-digit second half leads get away in losing their first two MAAC games.
Fairfield's leading scorer is 6-foot-3 junior college transfer Landon Taliaferro, who is averaging 14.1 points per game. Freshman guard Neftali Alvarez is averaging 13.1 for the Stags who lead the MAAC in 3-point shooting percentage (.390).
Daemen's streak ends at nine
Daemen's nine-game men's basketball win streak came to an end with a 110-83 loss to nationally-ranked St. Edward's in Austin, Texas. The host Hilltoppers are ranked seventh in the national poll of NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors of America.
St. Edwards (13-1) made 17 3-pointers in handing the Wildcats only their second loss in 13 games.
Junior guard Ashton Spears led the way for SEU with a game-high 32 points. The Division I transfer who started his collegiate career at Jacksonville State University shot 8-for-13 from the field, 5-for-9 from three-point range and 11 of 13 free throws.
Daemen short 46 percent. 39 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats were led by junior forward Jeff Redband who made six threes in a 20-point performance. Sophomore center Andrew Sischo had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Daemen while Quinn Lee Yaw (Jamestown) had 13 points and Deion Hamilton 12.
UB wrestlers top Hofstra
The University at Buffalo wrestlers scored consecutive technical falls at 157 pounds and 165 to build a 13-point lead, then put away the match away with wins at 197 and 285 in a 25-12 nonconference dual against Hofstra at Alumni Arena on Sunday afternoon. It the fourth win in the last five duals for the Bulls.
Kyle Akins won a decision at 125 to start things and Hofstra forfeited at 133. Technical falls by Alex Smythe at 157 and Troy Keller at 165 helped UB establish its big lead. Brett Perry won at 197 pounds and Jake Gunning, ranked No. 11 in the nation at 285, won by a decision over Omar Haddad, 5-2, in the final match.