George Mason had a lead with about 2:30 left in the game but struggled to put away Oregon State while suffering their second straight loss in the Diamond Head Classic tournament. They have now lost three straight and five of their last six. The Patriots’ defense and rebounding gave them a chance to win this one but they struggled to put points on the board all game long. Take away Patrick Holloway’s three-point shooting and Mason’s offense was essentially non-existent against the Beavers. Early turnovers prevented them from building any separation and in the final minute of the game they allowed Oregon State’s Robert Nelson to score eight points.
Mason now has a losing record (5-6) in season for the first time since 2009 and doesn’t seem to give much confidence that things are going to get any better soon. Paul Hewitt altered the starting lineup to try to spark something from this group, Sherrod Wright and Corey Edwards were replaced by Patrick Holloway and Marquise Moore. Wright continued to struggle at the start of this game and it severely hurt the Patriots offensively. But even when Wright isn’t having an off day from the field, Mason isn’t all that special on offense. They are very limited with what they are able to do and even what they do well comes and goes through different stretches. Bryon Allen often has to put the team on his back to try to get the win and he ends up trying to do too much.
Rebounding, especially on the offensive end was something they actually did do well against Oregon State. Jalen Jenkins had six boards, four of which were offensive, but unfortunately they were not able to get many second chance points. OSU missed a ton of easy shots early and while Mason had the edge on the glass they couldn’t make them pay for their misses.
For the second straight game they gave the opposing team way too many opportunities at the free-throw line. They only thing worse than watching Mason try to shoot from the free-throw line is seeing their opponents score 17-20 points a game from there. Too many dumb fouls and guys not being in position to make stops.
It’s going to a long season for George Mason.