George Mason comes up short against Maryland

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.

  • birdman33

    this game was a lot closer than i thought it was going to be, possbily due to the maryland’s mistakes. but patrick holloway is going to be something special. as far as the negative things i saw: paul hewitt’s inabillity to recognize that driving into the paint against the trees of maryland was not going to work. even john feinstein talked about this during the game and equated it to trying to set-up a passing game in football or in mason’s case the outside shot, neither happened. hewitt is not a good game manager for not playing vaughns who is having shooting issues is still arguably the best on ball defender mason has. and the other glaring issue i have is for a 5-7 minute stretch in the second half the starting point guard was not in the game. allen didn’t appear to be hurt and having correy edwards run the point isn’t the best thing for mason right now.
    as a recent mason alum i am not at all pleased with the way paul hewitt is running this team. yes they have flashes of greatest but at the same time some of his coaching decisions really make you question what he’s doing. the gameplan from game to game from my perspective has not changed.

  • Keith Bateman

    I can agree on alot of things, but VV is NEVER the solution to a problem. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D3D5PSR5NRWSKF3GJHSVK7HCZM Andrew

    Marko had 0 points and he had a ton of playing time. He took shots at critical moments and couldn’t come through. He’s playing soft and needs to man up. 

    And no news on Patrick Holloway. He played in a ton of big games in High school. The man knows how to shoot. 

    We could of won that game but we beat ourselves with turnovers and bad shots.

  • Christopher Hirsch

    Good stuff: Great effort, Sherrod Wright and Holloway are studs, Williams fought hard, we cut down our turnovers.

    Bad stuff: Too many guys play scared, like Allen and Arledge. Allen and Edwards just aren’t going to cut it at the point it seems. I feel like Allen is better than Edwards but that is really faint praise. 

    Mason can compete with the really good teams but isn’t quite at point where they beat the really good teams. That being said, the CAA is pretty God awful, so I still think Mason should cut down the nets at the CAA Tournament in March.

  • birdman33

    he can provide instant energy off the bench which you cannot disagree with. something needs to spark them. like the poster below said about marko he needs to shoot better. the same things continue to be mason, themselves. tonight was a perfect example of where turnovers, poor shot selection, etc. beat us. against weak team our talent can help us over come shots to the foot. but against a legit contender in the ACC stupid mistakes cannot happen.

  • James Hubbard

    For want of a nail…  If GMU had gotten back on defense, if someone had rotated back when the point guard penetrated, if when the GMU big men got back on defense, they guarded the player nearest the basket, GMU would have won this game going away. It’s all about good fundamentals, things you learned in rec league, all designed to deny the other team easy baskets.

  • GMU6

    Good game to learn from. It is still early.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NRUDPZII4KAAJFYIAIBYHEJFNU Bill

    I shoot for a Maryland sports site and got these yesterday. Hope it’s cool to post the link to my site where I store photos. I need to say I am a Terps fan first but I follow George Mason basketball as the university is close to home and my wife is a GMU grad. Great value for the money and I’ve taken my son to four games there in the past year. We will definitely be going back soon.

    All that said, Maryland struggled with poor free throw shooting. I’m shaking my head at how they won despite missing 16 out of 39 free throw attempts and adding 20 turnovers to that. Too much Dez Wells, who set his career high in each of his games this week (23 vs Northwestern, 25 vs Mason)

    If Byron Allen shoots 50 percent, Mason wins. Love watching Sherrod Wright play.

    http://marylandfb.blogspot.com/2012/12/bb-classic-maryland-vs-george-mason.html

    Good luck the rest of the way.