ST. LOUIS -- A career-high 30 points for George Mason's Bryon Allen left him in no mood celebrate.
The Patriots forced No. 19 Saint Louis into overtime but lost 87-81. George Mason (7-14, 0-7), the newest member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, lost its eighth consecutive game.."It doesn't feel good enough," Allen said. "We didn't get the win so I can care less if it's 30 or zero. It doesn't matter. I just want to win and losing hurts. We're all tired of losing so all we can is keep fighting."Patrick Holloway added 15 for George Mason.It was the first meeting between the schools. Allen hit a 3-pointer and jump shot to give George Mason a 35-31 lead less than 3 minutes into the second half.George Mason led by seven three times. The final time came with 7:32 to play after Allen hit a 3-pointer to make it 60-53.But the Patriots were unable to fend off the Billikens (20-2, 7-0 A-10).George Mason outrebounded the Billikens 22-13 in the second half."Anytime you lose it's disappointing," George Mason coach Paul Hewitt said. "To come on the road and play a team the quality like Saint Louis is the way we did, I'm very proud of our players. We gave ourselves a chance."With 4:12 to play, George Mason held a 66-61 lead. A foul led to two free throws by Saint Louis, who made 23 of 25 attempts in the game. The Patriots had just seven free-throw attempts, converting six.A layup closed it to 66-65.A tip-in by Erik Copes, who finished with 10 points, gave the Patriots a 3-point lead.But Rob Loe hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left to tie it.The Patriots' Jalen Jenkins missed a jumper at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime."We're going through a tough stretch right now," Allen said. "We know we can play with anybody. This one hurts the most because we competed for 45 minutes."Loe scored 10 of his career high 23 points in overtime.Saint Louis has reeled off 14 victories in a row, the sixth-longest active winning streak in the country. The winning streak ties the school record.It is the first time the Billikens have been 20-2 in school history."They are well coached and they played hard," Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said. "They have good skill guys. They have a very good basketball team. Their numbers don't show that yet but it's a long season. We feel great about this."Four other Billikens reached double figures -- Jordair Jett with 18, Mike McCall Jr. with 15, Austin McBroom with 14 and Dwayne Evans 12.Saint Louis cut the lead to 66-65 with 2:45 to play on a layup by Jett.The Billikens entered the game ranked first in the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.382) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.276).The Patriots hit 51 percent on 35 of 68 shooting from the floor. George Mason hit 5 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc.Saint Louis led 27-26 at halftime. There were seven lead changes and five ties in the half.The Billikens played the first 13:59 before being called for a foul and had just three total in the first half.Saint Louis last played in overtime March 6 and lost at Xavier.