George Mason went into this game with a different approach then we’ve seen recently, work the ball inside and forget the three-point shooting. Well it worked as the team played more to their own strengths in a 76-69 win over VCU, yes that VCU. Last time against the Rams, Mason was flustered by VCU’s press and didn’t break the 50 point barrier. Tonight they forced VCU to play their game, a gritty battle won on the boards and at the free-throw line. It was a true “earn every inch” type of game. Mason took only five three-point attempts the whole night and got big nights up front from Shevon Thompson and Jalen Jenkins. On defense they forced VCU into plenty of bad shots and possessions. Marquise Moore back in the lineup certainly helped on defense and was a game changer tonight in the back court scoring 15 points and getting to the line for 11 attempts.
I like that Dave Paulsen and company stuck to their game plan and got the younger players to buy into it in this game. They were playing with a lot of confidence from the start and it carried over into the second half. You could tell winning this game meant a lot to the players and that’s something we all love to see.