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Patriots edge out victory over Creighton

George Mason Basketball: Patriots edge out victory over Creighton

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Patriots edge out victory over Creighton

A late technical on Creighton head coach Dana Altman allowed the Patriots to stage a late second comeback at the free throw line to prevail 75-72. Cool hand Luke Hancock sank the two free throws off the technical than later drove to the basket for the winning dunk off an Andre Cornelius steal to seal the victory. Creighton fans are saying they got a "taste of homecooking", funny thing was all three refs were from the MVC conference which the Bluejays play in. Check out this boxscore and scroll to the bottom, check out each referee's profile and what conference they often officiate in. I will agree that I hate to see a game end like that with technicals and that feeling that the refs decided the game but let's not forget how much trouble the Bluejays had in-bounding the ball late in some key situations. The defensive effort by the Patriots nearly blew it for them, allowing the Bluejays to go 12-for-29 from behind the arch, that's over 40%. Totally unacceptable when the scouting report on these guys should be screaming about their long range shooting. For Mason, it seemed like they shied away from the three-point in this one, often hesitating on open looks. Also, we saw the Patriots struggle to take the advantage on the boards again, especially in the first half again, to a smaller Creighton squad. Kenny Lawson Jr was just plain out muscling Mike Morrison early on. Ryan Pearson seems to be the only consistent rebounder on the floor so far this season, but I also think Kevin Foster could have helped more in this area if given more minutes.

Cam Long - really stepped up in this one, ending with 22 points and sinking the game-winning free throw. He managed the game well and helped the Patriots limit their turnovers. The hestitation, especially on three-point attempts has to stop, he could have easily ended with nearly 30.
Ryan Pearson - Had the most complete game, collecting 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals. Did a great job getting to the line and I hope to see more of that.

Kenny Lawson Jr. - It was obivous from the opening tip that the focus of the Patriots defense was to crowd the lane and prevent the Bluejays leading scorer from having a big day. Lawson was held to 2 points but the defense worked almost too good as it opened things up for Bluejays three-point snipers. They really made the Patriots pay in that area and they are lucky to come out with a victory after allowing 12 three-pointers.

Free-throw shooting - As you will notice in the statsheet chart below, the Patriots did a great job getting to the line. They went 70% from the charity stripe to finish the game but they really missed some key ones down the stretch that if they had made would have secured the lead a lot earlier. They are improving in this area and by the end of the season I hope we aren't talking about it anymore.

Rebounding - The fact that they failed to out-rebound a team that didn't have a player on the court over 6-5 for most the game is a little discouraging. Both teams finished with 35 a piece but like the Dayton game a lot of meaningful second chance opportunities didn't go Mason's way. Mike Morrison was out of position often when Kenny Lawson was on the floor, which wasn't much, but it still showed a big weakness for the Patriots. Bottom line, they should have had an edge in that area.

Below is a chart from and it highlights the "Four Factors to Winning at Basketball". If you have never heard of this statistical breakdown before read more about what they mean here

NCAA Basketball Stats



Blogger Trent said...

A fun game to watch. Glad to see the crowd get juiced-up towards the end. I think that may have been the most exciting game at the Patriot Center since VCU '08.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Like always...beautiful work Ryan..keep it up

2:11 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Nice highlights and enjoyable game. Glad to see Cam take on the leadership role in every aspect of this game. He out this team on his shoulders and selected shots within the context of the game. Tate played like he should-someone determined to keep his starting position. Ryan was a Beast and Mike did okay. Cornelius made the defensive play of the game. Hancock did an excellent job from the free throw line. I stil think he is a bit of a ball hog. Tate was VERY WIDE OPEN and in great position to score after Cornelius' steal but as usual Hancock took it himself(ugh). Wright held his own-got a lot of minutes and didn't make too many mistakes.
Doesn't look like Cornelius is very comfortable playing the point position.
Would like to see more of Johnny Williams and Paris Bennett for defense and rebounds. We are getting abused in the inside.

2:16 PM  
Blogger jmack said...

Has Paris even played this season? I think Hancock takes it to the basket because he believes he can finish, and he had his momentum moving to the hoop after the pass. Dishing it to Tate would have slowed the progress down actually. I would like to see Tate keep hustling because he seems like he really upsets the other teams tempo when he works defense.

9:33 PM  

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