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Patriots lose heartbreaker in OT

George Mason Basketball: Patriots lose heartbreaker in OT

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patriots lose heartbreaker in OT

Video of the last second shot by Talor Battle:

Mason looked as if they had their first quality road win locked up with about 5 secs to play, then Talor Battle threw up an off balance three-pointer at the buzzer to send the came into overtime. Momentum suddenly shifted and Mason fans knew their season was about to come to an end. In OT Battle, who wasn't shooting particulary great until that buzzer beater, added 8 more and ended the Patriots season. Many people have been emailing me asking why Larranaga didn't intentionally fould to prevent the Nittany Lions from even attempting a three, here is what a local PA newsite had to say about it:
"Patriots' head coach Jim Larranaga doesn't have his team foul when leading by three late in the game because it has defended the perimeter so well all year. The Patriots are ranked 14th nationally in 3-point field goal defense."
Every coach has their own philosophy and anyone who has watched Larranaga over the years should know he doesn't foul in that situation and it has worked in the past. The guy threw up a prayer and it went in, that's college basketball, not really something you can work on in practice. Regardless, we still saw a Patriots squad play the whole 40 minutes on the road, with the freshmen scoring 30 points and sophomore Cam Long leading with the way with 16. Anyone excited for a back court next season with Cornelius and Long? Dre Smith started off strong knocking down his first two three-pointer attempts but then went 0-for-6 from there to finish the game. JV and Darryl Monroe played solid but didn't come up big when the Patriots needed to make a play. Louis Birdsong shuffling his feet on an in-bounds created a crucial turnover late that hurt Mason. If the younger guys didn't step up who knows how this one would have turned out. Disappointing end to one of those 'what could have been' seasons but it's hard to keep your head down with the talent on this squad and the experience they got this year.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a correction, I believe it was Daryl Monroe that turned the ball on the inbounds play, not Birdsong.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about the Monroe/Birdsong error. Where was Birdsong last night? Not a lot of minutes and didnt do much in the game. Looking forward to the Morrison/Pearson/Cornelius era. Cam will be with them for two more years and who knows how some of these highly touted freshmen will develop. Let's get '09 started!

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, somehow it was an appropriate ending to a mixed bag of a season. It reminds me of how many close games we lost... the ball just not bouncing our way on a number of occasions, especially on the road. But we have to be happy with our results in this "down year" and with the play of our young-uns. And as much as I look forward to how the team will look next year, I'm really thinking that the year after, with Cam a senior, our current freshmen then seasoned juniors, and whatever our incoming classes bring... could be really special. Keep us in the loop this offseason, Ryan, you've done a great job!!

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Ryan you are the point man for everything GMU MBball. Job well done! Please keep up the great work...

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love reading this blog everyday. It is a great forum for Mason "inside" knowledge and great perspective on the players. Thank you!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Ryan... keep it going...

2:17 PM  
Blogger MCS said...

Mason guards the perimeter well?

I guess I have been hallucinating all season.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still don't get why they did not foul at half court before the final shot in regulation. Hate to say it but this one is on Coach L.... Regardless, great coach, great players and lots to look forward to next year. Thanks for the blog.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job Ryan. Thanks for keeping us up to speed on GMU basketball. Keep us posted if you hear of anything interesting in the CAA over the off season.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Great job all season long, Ryan. Have they made you part of the media for covering Mason games at the Patriot Center? If not, they should. You should be given good access to the team since your site is the source for Mason bball news.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great work on the blog this season, I am an alum that moved away from the NOVA area and this is hands down my #1 source for info on the team.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous sam said...


7:06 AM  

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