SAINT LOUIS, MO – George Mason pushed No. 19 Saint Louis to overtime on Saturday afternoon, but the undefeated Atlantic 10 Conference squad held on for an 87-81 decision. Bryon Allen posted a career-high 30 points in the effort.
Erik Copes put Mason in the lead immediately out of the halftime break as the Patriots held the advantage the entirety of the stanza until the final minute. The Patriots led by as many as seven points on three occasions before SLU hit two unanswered buckets to come within one point, 66-65, with 2:45 on the clock. Copes gave Mason a 68-65 advantage with 57 seconds left, but Rob Loe drained a trey from the top of the key to tie the game at 68 with 44 seconds left. Mason got two shots off in the final possession, but couldn’t get either to fall, as the conference foes went into overtime.
The Billikens immediately raced out with the lead in the extra period and took a four-point lead on another Loe triple at the 1:59 mark. Allen cut it back to two points from the free throw line for the closest the Patriots would come the rest of the contest. Allen closed the game with a layup with four seconds left for the final 87-81 score.
Mason shot 51.5 percent from the field for the contest while SLU shot 44.4 percent. Allen led all scorers with a career-high 30 points. Loe led the Billikens with 23. Mason scored 56 points in the paint for the contest as SLU finished 23-for-25 from the free throw line to Mason’s 6-of-7 effort.
Mason shot 54.2 percent in the first half, while holding a stifling Billiken team to 37.9 percent as SLU led just narrowly at the halftime break, 27-26. The teams worked through seven lead changes and five tied scores as the largest lead held by either team was four by Saint Louis at the 4:05 mark, 24-20. Mason erased the deficit and took a 26-24 lead at 1:37 using a 6-0 run as part of a larger 10-7 run over 5:48 minutes of play. McCall capped the period with a triple for the 27-26 Billiken advantage.
Mason returns to action welcoming Dayton to the Patriot Center on Wednesday, February 5. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. on MASN.