The Patriots held their own against Maryland on Sunday afternoon but couldn’t seem to take advantage of the Terps numerous mistakes. There were a couple of different times when you would have thought Mason was going to go on a run and build a lead. An unbalanced attack on offense and a big day from Dez Wells spoiled the upset party for George Mason. While a lot of other Terps players had a so-so day from the field Wells set a career high for points and went 11-for-17 from the field. Maryland finished the day with 19 turnovers, 16 missed free-throws, and went 2-11 from behind the three-point line.
Mason just could not get much going on offense minus a few bursts from Sherrod Wright and Patrick Holloway. Wright was consistent and aggressive all game long but he needed help in the second half from the front court players and didn’t get it. Holloway’s 12 points in the first half were great but he cooled off and struggled a bit in the second. The Terps front court effectively took Mason’s out of the game and really limited what the Patriots were able to do on offense. Paul Hewitt’s 4-out, 1-in motion offense
made Ryan Pearson a conference player of the year last season, but without a good post scorer this season they seem get lost at times. And the whole up-tempo offense that was supposed to happen this season just doesn’t seem to be flowing well with the current point guard situation.
Maryland is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and the Patriots did a good job of keeping the margins close until late in the second half. The ill-advised shots that started in the second half were tough to watch and Bryon Allen was the biggest culprit. After the UVA game I had thought his outside shooting might have turned a corner, guess not. Besides Allen, Mason had four players take more than three shots and not make a basket
. Maybe depth isn’t this team’s biggest strength. Also, Vertrail Vaughns didn’t see any action and per Paul Hewitt’s post-game comments
he wasn’t injured either. Vaughns has had his struggles but he’s a veteran defender that they really could have used against Dez Wells.
On defense the Patriots aggressiveness led to many Terrapin turnovers but late in the second half fouls became an issue. This quote from the Washington Post
sums it up pretty good:
Despite shooting 59 percent on free throws, 17 of Maryland’s final 23 points came from the stripe. The Terps didn’t make a jump shot after halftime.
Both teams had their struggles but one team found a way to win while the other floundered. Mason played strong for roughly the first 25 minutes but then seemed to fade as Wright and Holloway’s shots didn’t fall as frequent.
There were plenty of good things to take away from this game for Mason but it seems to be the same old story with this group. They just cannot seem to close out a game strong and have an inconsistent offense.