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Patriots remain undefeated at home, earn #2 seed

George Mason Basketball: Patriots remain undefeated at home, earn #2 seed

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Patriots remain undefeated at home, earn #2 seed

Patriots took down Towson to complete an undefeated record at the Patriot Center for the first time ever. It was a sell-out tonight and the crowd was really intense. Mason has earned the #2 seed in the conference tournament and will face the winner of the JMU/W&M game. Darryl Monroe, despite looking sluggish at times, finished with 13 and 9 to lead Mason. Patriots won with solid defensive effort and smart shot selection down the stretch. Everyone seemed to be shooting the ball better and Dre Smith was cutting to the lane more. Ryan Pearson did not suit up for the game, and his right hand (non-shooting hand) was bandaged up. More details to follow on his injury. Birdsong got more minutes in Pearson's absence and he stepped up adding 10 points. Chris Fleming looked a little rusty in extened action but got an ovation late in the game from the crowd to come in one last time. Gotta love that kid. Free-throws were still an issue, especially after a Pat Kennedy technical were JV missed two alone on the foul line. Despite that Mason played great defense in the second half mixing up full-court press with the scramble defense and creating turnovers. Mason had to face a pressing Towson squad and broke through it on a Mike Morrison alley-oop that was pretty damn sick for those who witnessed. Haven't seen many of those since Gabe Norwood left. The three-point shooting was much improved in this one and I say that because there was a lot less erratic shots from long range. Dre Smith wasn't firing up too many funballs and rest of the Mason squad was patient from behind the arch. Have they finally learned? Mason ended up shooting over 50% from the field and held their opponents to under 40%. The Patriots rebounding was so-so at times and the prescence of Pearson in the middle was definitely missed on both ends. There was a lot of uncontested three-pointers from the Tigers, that allowed them to keep in the close. Mason was able to get an important win and their reward will be not having to worry about facing VCU until the championship game. It could be a whacky tournament and I think upsets across the board are a given this season. The difference between the #5-8 seeds is minimal and all are capable of stringing together victories against the top 4.


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More on Pearson's injury, word is he will be back for the CAA tournament.
"Pearson sat out the game with his right ring and pinky fingers wrapped to the wrist after aggravating a hand injury in practice. Pearson was expected to see doctors in the next few days."

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was good to see Birdsong finally put up some numbers. They are going to have to start defending the 3 pointer or they are in trouble in Richmond.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great game to watch. There were some dazzling plays. That alley-oop to Morrison was absolutly insane. It was tossed from behind the 3 point line and Morrison really had to reach back to get it, but made it look easy. Cornelius really impressed me as well. He has made much better decisions and is getting more comfortable driving in the lane.

I'm telling you, when Dre Smith and JV drive the lane, everything opens up for us. If Smith is starting to get a little hot, its the right time.

I'm heading to the tournament and hope I'm there for three days!

B

10:27 AM  
Blogger Teddy Wilkinson said...

can anyone post a link to a video clip of the morrison alley-oop.

1:50 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Coming off of two games that Mason should have won and needed to win is nice. Getting Pearson back for the weekend will be really nice. To me he took the role of Flemming last year and some. He hustles, defends, and rebounds, plus he scores, and is a decent free throw shooter. Should be a good weekend of basketball to watch. I am going to take the day off Friday and catch those games, then be in the Richmond Collesium until Monday night or so.

10:51 PM  

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