BY JALEN STUBBS, SPORTS EDITOR & BRAD BYRNE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Mason closed out their final home game of the season against Fordham finishing with a final score of 64-58 after an impressive performance in overtime. Then, on Saturday, they closed out the season against Richmond 62-60 to finish 19-12. They can finish fifth, sixth or seventh in the Atlantic 10 depending on the rest of Saturday’s results.
“A hard-fought Atlantic 10 game,” said Coach English. “Our guys did a great job in just finding a way to win…no matter what the conditions are that’s just how we like it and I think tonight was a really good indication of that mindset and guys found a way to win.”
With Victor Bailey Jr. still out, Ronald Polite III stepped up and tallied 12 points playing a total of 43:52 minutes. Having Davonte Gaines back in the game has been beneficial for the players despite only playing for 13:31 minutes. Nonetheless, his efforts were needed during overtime.
“My teammates trust me so that just gives me a lot of confidence,” said Polite III. “It was tough defense, just being tough with the ball and making a play.”
“Locking in day by day,” said Polite III. “Trying to get better…coming together as a team.”
The Patriots had an outstanding defensive strategy during the second period which resulted in getting stops against Fordham guard, Antrell Charlton.
Josh Oduro reflected on how he felt about playing what’s rumored to be his final game at EagleBank Arena. Despite not being able to play during overtime, watching his teammates take charge in those final moments made him feel proud to be a Patriot.
“Watching Ronald take over, watching Malik Henry step up to the plate, watching Saquan making some stops, it was an amazing experience,” said Oduro. “I’m glad that they sent me off on a good note on a senior night.”
Senior Night was very heated for the Patriots and Rams. Justyn Fernandez had a hard foul on Fordham forward, Khalid Moore after DeVon Cooper turned the ball over resulting in what could’ve been a fight on the baseline.
“Nothing happened,” said Coach English. “Basketball players aren’t going to fight.”
The Patriots head to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and will open up their Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament campaign on Wednesday, March 8.