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Patriots get a scare in Cleveland

George Mason Basketball: Patriots get a scare in Cleveland

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Patriots get a scare in Cleveland

The Patriots opened the season with a come from behind victory against the Cleveland State Vikings. It hurts me to say that. Cleveland State is the worse team in the Horizon League. Why did the Patriots have trouble against these guys? Easy; Patriots had bull eyes on their backs and the didn't really think it was necessary to defend the three point shot until the second half. From the start of the game the Vikings came out firing with high energy and successfully converting Mason turnovers to points. The Patriots come out flat; a Final Four hang over perhaps; and turned the ball over five times in the games first three minutes. Folarin Campbell turned the ball over eight times in the game, and looked out of place during certain moments. The first half was dreadful at certain points and the Patriots were down by as many as 16 points. The only bright spot was Will Thomas and Darryl Monroe dominating down low. Thomas ended the game with a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The Patriots came out strong in the second half, Will Thomas and John Vaughn continued to keep the game close. The Vikings would not back down easy. J'Nathan Bullock and Joe Davis made the game interesting by hitting some clutch shots. J'Nathan? Is that really a name? Anyway the Patriots used a zone defense and their size in the posts to chip away at the Viking lead. They ended up shooting over 70% from the field in the second half, largely due to Vaughn and Thomas. At one point Campbell redeemed himself for his poor play in the first half by knocking down back to back three pointers which gave the Patriots all the momentum it needed to finish off the Vikings.

Although I'm not really that happy that the Patriots struggled against a weaker team, I think this will really help in preparation for the Wichita State Shockers. They needed to be brought back to Earth and get past all the media hype. A come from behind victory gives a team an identity and this team needs to develop its own. Every team they play this year will be gunning for them straight from the tip off. If the Patriots come out flat and turn the ball over that much against the Shockers it could get real ugly real fast and I don't think a come from behind victory would be likely.


Blogger WU said...

The game this weekend will be a good one.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Bad first half, great second half. The team needs to get to know each other in real game situations. This was not a bad result. A win on the road with a new team, can't argue with that.

9:51 PM  

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