By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
The game was closer than the score suggested, but St. Bonaventure left Virginia without the elusive road win it’s been seeking all season.
The Bonnies jumped ahead of George Mason early on Sunday, making their first four shots to take a 9-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest. That early burst was wiped out by 35 percent shooting the rest of the half and an Ian Boyd buzzer-beater to give the Patriots the halftime lead.
Offensive lulls were a theme for the Bonnies. They made just one of their first six field goal attempts in the second half and let Mason jump out to an eight-point lead before Jalen Poyser made a three-pointer. After a hot stretch saw Bona earn a 44-42 advantage with 10 minutes to play, GMU went on a 14-0 run. Nelson Kaputo and Kyle Lofton hit three-pointers to cut the deficit to six, but Boyd immediately answered with a three of his own and the Bonnies made just one shot the rest of the game, falling 68-53.
The Bonnies fell to 4-10 with the loss, 0-1 in Atlantic 10 play. They are now 0-5 in true road games and 0-8 away from the Reilly Center this season.
Takeaways from Bona’s fifth straight defeat:
Player of the Game: Justin Kier. As Kier got hot, so did George Mason; twelve of the junior’s 15 points came in the second half. He also grabbed 14 rebounds to lead all players.
Kier made seven of his eight free throws. Bonaventure attempted just three shots from the line as a team.
Stat of the Game: The Patriots outrebounded the Bonnies 44-24, 15-8 on the offensive boards. SBU is 2-7 this season when it gets outrebounded.
Stretch of the Game: George Mason’s 14-0 run, which turned a two-point deficit into a 12-point lead and ruined Bonaventure’s momentum.
Quote of the Game: “They go to the foul line 20 times and we go to the foul line three… We don’t have attackers that are going to the basket. When they’re going to the basket we’re taking it soft and we’re bailing the referees out. We fixed taking care of the basketball, but from a rebounding standpoint and trying to get the ball below the foul line, we didn’t do that at all.”
Miscellaneous Notes: Dominick Welch played three minutes in his return from a foot injury, grabbing two offensive rebounds and missing his only field goal attempt… The loss was SBU’s first to George Mason since the Patriots joined the A-10.