George Town, GRAND CAYMAN — The Old Dominion men’s basketball team (3-3) fell to George Mason (6-1) by a 60-53 score on Monday night in the first of three games for the Monarchs in the 2019 Cayman Islands Classic at the John Gray Gymnasium. The Monarchs held a lead for 24:36, while GMU led for 11:09, as the game experienced a total of nine lead changes and seven ties.
With 11:34 to play, a Jason Wade lay-in extended ODU’s lead to seven, 43-36. Mason answered with a 18-4 run, claiming a 54-47 lead at the 3:16 mark, before Marquis Godwin drilled back-to-back three-pointers to cut ODU’s deficit to one, 54-53, with 1:15 to play. However, the Patriots scored the game’s last six points to seal the deal on a seven-point victory on Monday night.
“George Mason made us work for everything and at times we were up to the challenge, but we had a couple stretches particularly at the offensive end, where we just made poor decisions and it resulted in empty possessions,” explained ODU head coach Jeff Jones. “We’ve got to be better particularly down the stretch and in clutch time we have to respond better and make sure that we are all on the same page and attacking together. If we can do that then it will be a lesson well learned.”
Old Dominion was led by Xavier Green (six rebounds, two assists and two blocks) and Marquis Godwin, who each scored 12 points. Jason Wade followed with seven points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Malik Curry chipped in six points, seven assists and three rebounds. Aaron Carver hauled down a team-high eight rebounds.
For the game, ODU held advantages for bench points (20-9), assists (13-6) and steals (7-3). The Monarchs connected on 72.7% (8-11) of their free-throws, while George Mason attempted 25 shots from the charity stripe, connecting on 18 of those (72.0%). Old Dominion held GMU to 23.5% (4-17) shooting from three-point range for the contest.
ODU claimed a 29-27 lead at halftime, behind seven points from Green and six points from Kalu Ezikpe. The opening 20 minutes experienced five ties and two lead changes. The Monarchs shot 60.0% (3-5) from deep in the first half.