George Mason upsets UMass

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]

 

  • StopWearingPurple

    Holy Crap!

    • GMUPATS74

      More like hot diggidy!

  • GMUPATS74

    Has the sleeping giant awakened?

  • Rick Jank

    Great game from the sounds of it — wish I could have seen it instead of listening on the radio. Evidently we match up well against UMass (who has lost some of its sheen lately), and maybe we are starting to prove to ourselves that we fit right in with the A10 talent-wise. And as much as I have been down on Coach Hewitt, if he finally has the puzzle of our team put together right and has figured out a winning game plan, I’m all for it. I’ll give that second chance. But I am TRYING not to get my hopes up! It would be a great goal to have a strong finish and be a team no one wants to mess with in the conference tourney.

    • GMUPATS74

      I’ve missed both games as well and had to settle for listening and live stats instead. But the wins have more than made up for it. It sure beats going and watching us get blown out in person. Really happy for the team and all the fans who’ve been suffering this season, me being one of them.

  • Andy Minor

    I think one of the biggest things was Hewitt finally “trusting” the zone enough. He never completely abandoned it, we kept mixing it up and throwing them off. Too many other games we’ve gone to the zone, watched it work, then wonder where it was the rest of the game.

    Good effort all around.

  • Matt_LC

    Nice to see back to back wins. Reality though still holds one of those wins was against another bottom A10 team. I hope they can continue to execute as they have in the last two games. We haven’t see that Copes since his freshman year-or maybe we haven’t see him play that well at all. The bigs still need to be careful of picking up those 4th and 5th fouls. Good way to head into Homecoming, still think we going to need a new coach but I think even if they lose the rest of the games he will be granted the final year and a second chance to coach v other A10 schools.

  • GaMoo79

    Whale of a game! Copes sounds like he was a MONSTER. It would be great to go on a (for us) run.
    I cant help but think about what might have been this year if only we had started out this way….

    • Daniel Wu

      Yeah I know what you mean. It still kind of stinks how this team had to go on some kind of losing streak to finally get thier stuff together. But at least Mason is not a cellar dweller anymore and hopefully get themselves a better seed in the A10 tournament.

      • GMUPATS74

        Still lots of hoops left Daniel. If we continue to play like this GMU will be a team no one wants to play in March.

    • GMUPATS74

      Its maybe to early to start booking plans for any postseason tournament but this is something I haven’t written in a long time: HOW BOUT DEM PATRIOTS?

      • GaMoo79

        I definately agree 74. At least it makes the homestretch a lot more Interesting.

    • ricandersen

      Um, we did start 4-0. “.. If only we had started out this way.”

  • mooky_l3d

    Hello basketball fundamentals. ……. more assists than turnovers, presence on the boards abs making free throws. Let’s get back to the assists 18 has to be a Hewitt term high. Team work makes the dream work. GO MASON! Wish they could have pulled this type of game earlier this season. Maybe Hewitt actually had a game plan for this game. “If you fail to plan you plan to fail” that’s what I was taught when I was student teaching. It seems that Mason has failed a lot this season. But they are getting into a mini groove now. GO MASON.

  • Acustic2001

    I found this on youtube… the complete GMU@Umass game on feb 12th, some parts are missing in the 1st half though.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m69uNY9vLU

  • gmurva

    St Joe, Umass(1), RI, Fordham, St Louis all winnable games – win them and we are 7-3 and tied w/ GW for 3rd – woulda, coulda, shoulda… Hewitt finally has settled on a starting lineup that includes two freshmen starters and a sophomore 6th man. Most of the close loses were the result of the seniors making mistakes at the end of the game. I expect the freshmen to make some mistakes (e.g. Jankins two fouls in 30 seconds) but they are getting better and I think the starters +1 are starting to trust each other. I think if Wright and Allen play like seniors and Jankins can stay out of foul trouble we can beat anyone in the conference.

    I am very concerned about two things. Wright is still making too many mental mistakes (Allen makes up for his) – and – we play much better on the road (with the exception of Fordham). We had a problem playing at home last season as well (something Mason fans are not used to). This is something Hewitt needs to fix. I asked him about this after our loss at homecoming last season and I asked if he thought this team benefits from the routine of travel. My gut is there is no routine (coaches responsibility) when they play at home and the guys are not as focused for home games. I suggested maybe the team should stay off campus the night before a home game – I hope they do something Saturday to get focused.

    Still going to be hard to get to 4 wins at this point with GW, St Louis, and Richmond still to play. I guess at this point we are back to expecting to beat St Bon, Duquesne, and La Salle.

    Be fun to win out and finish .500 in the A10, but I would be happy with the 11 seed playing 9pm on Thursday night in NYC (I think 4 wins will be good for 11th). Doubt anyone is going to want to play us in the tournament. 11th gives us 6th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st :)

    • Daniel Wu

      I’ll be sure to watch the youtube vid when I have time. Glad someone posted it.