The first half was some of the best basketball we’ve seen George Mason play this season. They were breaking VCU’s press with ease and scoring easy baskets in the paint. Jalen Jenkins got his first collegiate start and was impressive right off the bat. Early on Mason did not dig themselves into a hole by turning over the ball and for once looked prepared for an opponent. But in the end the Rams have the better coach and Shaka Smart made halftime adjustments that got VCU back into their groove. They wore down George Mason in the second half and it was game over.
Mason rebounded the ball well. Jenkins’ double-double of the night included 12 rebounds and Erik Copes collected 10, his highest total of the season. But in the second half they let the Rams get way too many offensive boards, which kickstarted their offense. It was encouraging however to see Erik Copes last 31 minutes and not foul out of a game for a change.
Marquise Moore played very well for a freshman who was facing VCU for the first time. He looked unfazed early on and didn’t allow them to get lost in the Havoc. Sherrod Wright and Bryon Allen just weren’t big enough factors. When Mason needed a basket they couldn’t get it done. VCU’s guards frustrated both of them and they were often looking to the refs for help.
A big difference in the game was free-throws. Mason didn’t nearly get to the line at the rate VCU did. The Rams were having an awful night shooting the ball but were aided by the 39 free-throws they got. We’ve seen this too many times before, the Patriots can’t adjust to how the game is being called or take advantage.
The ref went to VCU
— Ángel Cabrera (@CabreraAngel) January 10, 2014
As I’ve stated many times this year already, Mason needs to play a full 40 minutes. We continue to see them play well only for short periods of time.