Flyers hold off a game Mason team
George Mason welcomed the highest ranked opponent ever to visit when 4th rank Dayton came calling. The Flyers got 19 from star Obi Toppin and 13 from Jalen Crutcher in their 62-55 win. It was the Flyers 17th straight win. Mason fell to 1-4 all time against top 5 opponents. Their only win came against UConn in the 2006 Elite Eight.
Eagle Bank Arena had a buzz to it as NBA scouts were lined up at the media table to get a look at Toppin. The Flyers’ big man didn’t disappoint. Throughout the game, Toppin patiently waited for the game to come to him. “I’m not going to be selfish just because there’s people are watching me, said Toppin. I’m always going to stick to what the coaches are asking and what the team needs to win.”
George Mason hung around in the first half on sheer grit. At times Dayton got the ball to the front of the rim at ease despite the defender playing off the man with the ball.
With that being said, Dayton often helped Mason out by over-passing the ball and getting deeper into the shot clock than they needed. No one was guiltier of this than Obi Toppin who passed out quite a few shots in the half with an entire table of NBA scouts sitting courtside.
Mason missed some opportunities despite shooting a respectable 40% from the field, the Patriots were only 3-7 from the free throw line.
Dayton only attempted two free throws but they shot 46.4% in the half.
Flyers: Jalen Crutcher 9 points; Ryan Mikesell 5 rebounds
Patriots: AJ Wilson 8 points; Jordan Miller 7 rebounds
George Mason came out a lot more physical on the defensive end and started the half on a 5-0 to tie the game at 30. The run would extend to 9-2 giving Mason their first lead of thee game at 34-32.
Dayton struggled on offense turning the ball over 3 times early in the half as Mason started suffocating the ball anytime it was under the free throw line extended.
An 8-0 run gave Dayton a 49-41 lead with a little over 7 minutes left.
It seemed with over four minutes left, the Flyers would go to a modern day slow down going five out with no attack and a four out with a high post.
This strategy allowed Mason to hang around. With 1:18 Xavier Johnson’s basket pulled the Patriots to within 57-55.
But Ibi Watson would hit a short jumper in the lane giving the Flyers a 59-55 lead. Mason would turn the ball over on the next possession prior to calling a timeout.
Flyers: Obi Toppin 19 points; Ryan Mikesell 8 rebounds
Patriots: AJ Wilson 18 points; Jordan Miller 10 rebounds
George Mason Postgame