OTIS LIVINGSTON SCORES HIS 1,000TH CAREER POINT
By Hogan Lepore, Staff Writer
Wednesday’s men’s basketball game included a scoring milestone, an old CAA rivalry and a season first for the Mason men.
The Patriots were defeated by William & Mary 77-70 on Wednesday, Dec. 6, recording their first home loss of the season. This brings the Patriots record down to 4-5.
Despite the loss, junior point guard Otis Livingston III reached a career milestone. The Linden, N.J. native scored the 1,000th point of his Mason basketball career, becoming the 36th Patriot to do so.
Livingston talked to media after the game, thanking all the people who have helped him to reach this milestone.
“I have grown a lot,” Livingston said. “I thank my coaches and my teammates for helping me grow as man off the court, and as a basketball player on the court.”
The personal record was not Livingston’s only accomplishment on Wednesday however, as he amassed 20 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal through the night. The junior also discussed how his approach both in the locker room and on the court helped him excel in his three-year career at Mason.
“I think I have grown each year, in that I am learning how to deal with certain personalities,” Livingston said, “On the court, just being more cerebral in how I approach the game… I have grown in that area in being a point guard on the basketball court, so yeah, I am just really happy.”
Teammate Jaire Grayer also scored 24 points, grabbing seven boards and leading the Patriots in both steals (two) and blocks (two). The junior from Flint, MI discussed the team’s struggles to score late in the game, inevitably leading to the Patriots coming up short.
“We were getting good looks, we just [have] to come through and make those shots, but mostly it’s on the defensive end,” Grayer said. “We have to get better on our rotations. We [have] to close the games better.”
William and Mary played well, as their 6’10’’ sophomore Nathan Knight led the team with 27 points and two blocks. The forward also powered through a couple emphatic dunks, helping his team erase a 16-point Mason lead.
Mason Head Coach David Paulsen talked about the Patriots’ struggles in the second half and how his young team can learn from them.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to William & Mary,” Paulsen said. “They are a real handful to guard. They really present a lot of problems defensively. We tried to change up our looks and we just weren’t quite good enough defensively, and then we hit a cold patch there [offensively] and that with a young team is going to happen.”
Paulsen also discussed moving forward after a tough loss – a loss where Mason was leading virtually the whole game.
“What we told our guys was, ‘We can’t let William and Mary beat us twice.’ They beat us tonight, but if we kind of wallow in it, then they will have the chance to beat us the second time.”
The Patriot men host North Carolina Central on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m., as they look to rebound in front of their home crowd. Before the men’s game, fans can watch the Mason women play Eastern Kentucky on the same day at 1 p.m.
Photos Courtesy of Mason Creative Services