Well it took 24 games but we finally saw George Mason play some great basketball for 40 minutes. Last night’s 91-80 victory on the road against UMass was impressive and puzzling all at the same time. This is the George Mason team I thought we would see a little more of this season. Bryon Allen and Sherrod Wright aggressively attacking the rim, Erik Copes/Jalen Jenkins cleaning up inside, and Patrick Holloway knocking down outside shots. It’s puzzling though because look at what Copes did last night, 12 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. Definitely the Erik Copes we all thought we were getting when he arrived at Mason, and they need a hell of lot more games like that from him.
The balanced scoring was something we haven’t seen much of this season but you can see just how different of a squad the Patriots are when it happens. Even Marquise Moore got to double digits by getting to the line and connecting on free-throws. You know this team is playing well when even Moore is an offensive threat during a game.
We’ve been tough on Paul Hewitt here but last night’s game was a well coached one. On defense he mixed things up with some zone and forced the Minutemen into some bad shots and turnovers. The rotation was great in my opinion, as they mostly went with the starting five and Patrick Holloway off the bench. Jalen Jenkins was in foul trouble for most of the night but Hewitt kept him in there and that was the right call. Speaking of Holloway his three-point shooting in conference play has been a bright spot and as a team they lead the A-10 in three-point shooting (41.5%) in conference only games.
Mason was in control the entire game and UMass only had a lead of two points during the entire game. In fact they were the first team this season to score 42 points in the first half against UMass at the William D. Mullins Center. What was so different about this game though was how Mason came out in the second half. They dominated the first five minutes of the second half, Erik Copes scored six straight points in about a two minutes span himself. That fire right out of the gates after the half was something they were missing prior to this game.
[Photo by Dave Roback/Masslive]