(Photo via masslive.com)
After a tough loss last week against Fordham in the Bronx, the UMass Minutemen returned home and pulled off a 70-64 victory against George Mason. The Minutemen, who have now won 4 of their last 6, look to finish their season on a high note after losing 7-straight prior to this big win. The key performers in this victory were the trio of Jabari Hinds, Trey Davis, and Antwan Space, who combined for 48 points. The three combined for 50% shooting from the field (17-for-34) and hit 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
The offense seemed to click early on in the game, as they jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half. However, George Mason, led by Otis Livingston II, was able to slowly chip away at their lead and even cut it to 3 with around 4 minutes left to play. The Minutemen defense held firm, though, and were able to knock down their free throws to seal the victory. Their swarming defense led to 9 steals that they were able to convert into 14 fast-break points. George Mason, on the other hand, struggled mightily from the three-point line, shooting an abysmal 1-for-18 from behind the arch.
This game was a great team win for the Minutemen, as it proved their ability to win tough games and play through adversity. George Mason was going toe-to-toe with UMass in the second half, and were making the Minutemen earn every one of their buckets in the second half. But, UMass buckled down and hit important shots down the stretch.
The trio of Hinds, Davis, and Space look to continue their impressive scoring through the final 4 games of the season and hopefully pull off big victories against strong A-10 teams like St. Josephs, St. Bonaventure, and Rhode Island. This win now puts UMass only 2 games under .500 (12-14), so finding momentum during these final weeks are vital for a potential run in the A-10 tournament.
– J. Yellin