Photo Courtesy of Mitchell Richtmyre

A balance attack helped the Patriots get back in the win column.


Mason men’s basketball defeated St. Bonaventure 69-60 on Saturday afternoon at EagleBank Arena to end a three-game losing streak. The Patriots (14-5, 3-3 Atlantic 10) used a balanced attack and pressuring defense to come back from a late deficit.  

“I think these guys showed a lot of grit tonight. That’s the A10, that’s what it’s going to look like. I’m just really happy with this group and with finding a way to just gut out a really good win against a really good team,” Head Coach Tony Skinn said. The victory is Mason’s first win since defeating Saint Louis on Jan. 6.

The Patriots were down by five with 7:30 remaining, but forced six turnovers in the final seven minutes to turn the game in their favor. “We always fall back on our defense, that usually always gets us going. That’s what we preach in practice. We’re a defensive-minded team and that’ll help us get momentum offensively,” forward Amari Kelly said. 

“We didn’t turn the ball over at all towards the end of the game when they were full-court pressing us,” Skinn said. The late-game turnover differential proved to be the difference, as the Bonnies (11-6, 2-3) could not overcome their miscues.

Mason led for over thirty minutes, as they received scoring contributions from nine players. Kelly and Keyshawn Hall led the team with 13 points each. Darius Maddox added 10 points, including two three-pointers. The Patriots shot 7-21 from three as a team. 

Freshman Austin Ball provided a lift off the bench for the Patriots in the first half. Ball scored a career-high eight points on 3-5 shooting in his breakthrough performance. “He came in there and he gave us life. He’s going to continue to get better,” Skinn said.

Despite the strong start for Mason, St. Bonaventure rallied to a late lead behind 17 points from Chad Venning and 14 from Mika Adams-Woods. After the Bonnies took a 52-47 lead, the Patriots ended the game on a 22-8 run to secure the victory.

After the weekend’s action, Mason moved into a tie with Massachusetts for 7th place in the A10 standings. St. Bonaventure fell to 10th after the loss. The Patriots will now enter a crucial stretch, as they look to improve their conference standing. 

Mason has a week off before they play Rhode Island in this year’s homecoming game on Jan. 27. “It doesn’t matter who we play. On any given night anybody can get it in this league. We’ve just got to be able to take care of business at home,” Skinn said.