Hot shooting Dayton blows past George Mason

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In the post game interviews Dave Paulsen said this about Dayton, “They didn’t play like a team that was trying to defend a national ranking. They played like a team that was ticked off they weren’t ranked higher.” Well put coach. The Flyers, the best team in the Atlantic 10 this year and also one of the better ones in the nation, put on a on quite a show on offense last night. Without Marquise Moore, who didn’t recover from a late injury in the Richmond game, Mason struggled mightily to defend the perimeter. Dayton shot over 60% from the field and went 14-for-22 on three-pointers.

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The Patriots miserable start on defense didn’t improve as the game went on and their lack of depth didn’t make things any easier. On offense instead of trying to slow the game down and play their speed Mason ended up forcing a lot of bad shots. Otis Livingston had a great game on paper but was really trying to do too much on offense. Obviously you can’t blame him but the lack of supporting cast sticks out in games like this. He really missed his go to partner Marquise Moore in the back court. Turnovers were not an issue as it has been all season but they weren’t smart on a lot of possessions and that led to points the other way just the same. Jaire Grayer had a good start but cooled off while Shevon Thompson and Marko Gujanicic were mostly non-factors when the team needed them.

Without or without Marquise Moore there’s no way Mason would have stopped the Dayton freight train that we saw last night. This team is far from winning games like this until they learn to play better defense as a team. The freshmen played a ton of minutes last night, out of necessity, which is another reminder of where we in in this rebuild. Having said all that it is still not acceptable to let any conference opponent nearly reach the century mark on your home floor.

[Photos by Bill Bride]

  • G-n-G

    Out of this debacle, what I liked was obviously the play of OL2, Grayer seems to have his confidence back, Shevon’s feet seem to feel good (3 dunks in 3 games), and Dixon showed a couple decent moves around the basket. Seeing Royal dive on the floor was completely unexpected and a credit to the coaches.

    Unfortunately it seems as though Abram and Murrell both have lost confidence in their shots and Jenkins is still good for 1-3 bad fouls per game that limit his minutes. There were more than a half-dozen point-blank shots missed that would have helped keep a modicum of pressure on Dayton.

    Regarding UD scoring nearly 100 points, I think things began to verge on unsportsmanship in the last 5 minutes when Dayton kept shooting 3-pointers with the game already decided (4-5 minutes after Paulsen had conceded by pulling OL2 and Thompson). This isn’t sour grapes. UD deserved to win. They were clearly the better team. Just wish they’d shown a little more class at the end.

    Any word on how serious Moore’s injury is?

    • ricandersen

      I am a stickler for sportsmanship. In defense of Dayton, they pulled their starters and put in all their freshman with something like 10 minutes to go. They had to shoot the ball, regardless. If Mason still isn’t guarding the perimeter, I don’t fault them.

      • famousdave2015

        What is your profession?

  • famousdave2015

    Back to the drawing board and I need to do a better job managing my expectations for this team.

  • Bill Bride

    Highlight of the night for me was meeting Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden after the game. His son is a walk on for Dayton.

  • ricandersen

    Everyone was too high on Mason after Richmond. Before everyone gets too down on Mason after Dayton…

    Mason is trending the right direction. Ryan is correct: it is not acceptable to let any opponent reach the century mark on your home court. But, we fielded a team of freshman against a top-25 team. A blowout wasn’t out of the question. In fact, it should have been expected.

    We won’t play top-25 teams every week. Our squad is getting stronger. Even after losing by 34 points, I feel better now than anytime in the last two seasons.

    Don’t sweat the big losses to the NCAA elite. Track improvements, no matter how modest. Because we are improving, regardless of last night’s outcome.

    • Quel Esteve

      +1

  • StopWearingPurple

    On the bright side Mason actually got out to an early lead which has been rare this year. The Green Machine did a good job of keeping the Dayton section from getting their chants in. As for the rest of the game, just burn the tape, pretend it didn’t happen and move on to R.I.

  • Days of Yates

    It was one of those games where it’s looking like a competitive game, your team’s doing some of the good things you’ve come to expect, everyone is playing with grit, and then you look at the scoreboard and we’re behind by eleven. Dayton was just smoother, more mature and, oh yes, everyone on the team had their 3 point stroke. Yes, as a team we were one step slower in getting to their jump shots, but still, when a team shoots better from 60% from the three…..

  • Peter Pfohl

    The extended garbage time for our young guys had me very concerned about our frontcourt next year. If I’m not mistaken, the only forwards we return next year are Jenkins, Dixon, and Relvao (who will have no game experience). That’s thin enough as is, but I have yet to see anything at all from Dixon that has given me confidence. Those sequences where he couldn’t finish, then also clunked the freethrows were brutal.