Clutch free throws by Monroe seal the deal for Mason

Darryl Monroe had ice water in his veins and knocked down two free throws to tie and then win the game for the Patriots with .7 seconds to go in overtime. Mason’s defense proved to be the difference maker as they forced a 5 second rule inbounds turnover to set up Monroe’s final two free-throws. What a way to end it. Monroe finished the game with 16 points and 13 rebounds while playing 38 minutes. Andre Cornelius (9 pts) and Ryan Pearson (13 pts) were stellar in their debuts while Dre Smith and Louis Birdsong struggled. The game opened up very sloppy with both teams turning over the ball and lot and taking fouls. The three-point shooting was awful for both squads and the shot selection left most fans head scratching, but at the end of the 1st half Isaiah Tate nailed a three-pointer to give the Patriots their first lead. From that point on you knew it was going to be a dog fight.
The escape from Vermont with a win could not have happened without the exceptional play from Mason’s prized freshmen. Cornelius and Pearson were inserted into the game early and contributed right away not showing their inexperience. John Vaughan had wrist problems from last weeks scrimmage at Georgetown that carried over into this game. Vaughan, Long, Cornelius, and Smith were featured in a four guard lineup often, something similar to what Larranaga was running at the end of last season. The lineup proved to be pretty effective and Mason was still able to out rebound Vermont. Marqus Blakely had his 20 and 10 but John Vaughan’s defense on Mike Trimboli proved to be the difference down the stretch. I had stated yesterday that Blakely was going to have a big game and there was no stopping him and for the Patriots to win they would have to contain the rest of Vermont’s perimeter players. Mason did just that and held the Catamounts offense in check when it mattered.
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11465139246714153198 b-spot50

    Yeah the freshman played great, the refs called it somewhat even but the calls sucked, bush league

    Also, does anyone else think Vlad has been horrible, he was suppose to be a major threat from behind the arc but he has never shown that and is garbage and soft.

    Did Birdsong gain some weight?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01370832218765264412 Ryan

    Birdsong and Vlad just didn’t impress me. Ryan Pearson might keep them on the bench if he keeps playing like this. Fleming was hurt from the Georgetown scrimmage so we might see more of him in the future if those guys continue to stuggle.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09163915872352189104 Trent

    Great win. You can’t put too much emphasis on one game, but it certainly sets a tone and establishes confidence on the road. And yeh, the at-large selection is alive!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10066980607795415671 CYork987

    Birdsong and Dre Smith need to step it up. Birdsong looks like he’s going to be streaky like Campbell was last year. Smith needs to hit the gym and start working on his 3pt shots if he wants to be a ‘sharpshooter’ like I keep hearing about. If they become more consistent, I see good things this season with how Monroe and the two Frosh played Saturday.