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George Mason downs VCU in overtime 82-77

George Mason Basketball: George Mason downs VCU in overtime 82-77

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

George Mason downs VCU in overtime 82-77

Wow, that maybe the best CAA game of the season. Patriots looked downright awful in the first half, erratic passes, ill-advised shots, and dumb fouls. Wish I could have heard that half-time talk Larranaga gave these guys because they battled back after being down by 15. Mike Morrison and Cam Long stepped up big time when Mason needed them but it was Louis Birdsong and Luke Hancock were the improbable heroes in this one. Cam Long was the star, but that was expected given it was an important home game. The key to this victory was who was going to step up on the bench given that some players were in foul trouble early. Hancock and Birdsong had some clutch plays to go along with Long's free-throws that sealed the deal. Mike Morrison stepped up big time and wasn't afraid to go right at VCU's Larry Sanders. His toughness inside drew Sanders to foul out and receive a technical before overtime. Please tell how this guy is a 1 st round projected draft pick again?

The win was critical for Mason and helps ensure they will not have to play on Friday during the CAA tournament next month. Since they only play VCU once this year they own the tie-breaker over them in the event of a tie in the standings. Things don't get any easier for the Patriots as they head down to ODU this Saturday in a game that will greatly affect the standings. A win against William & Mary next week could lock up a top 4 seed.

-In the 2nd half Mason held the Rams to 36% shooting after letting them shoot 54% in the 1st.

-Ryan Pearson and Andre Cornelius did not start "because of lack of effort in practice lately," Larranaga said. Cornelius was very disappointing in this one and didn't seem to be trusted with the point guard duties as Long brought the ball up most of the game.

-The Patriots have set a school record of 18 straight wins at home against CAA opponents

-Despite staging a comeback from being down 15, Mason only made 3 three-pointers in the entire game. VCU's Joey Rodriguez made 6.

NCAA Basketball Stats



Blogger dpody327 said...

I don't think you can call anyone but Cam the hero tonight. I love Luke, but come on. Cam made the two free throws necessary to send it to overtime, and made the ones in OT that put the game away. However, I will say, it was by far the best game at Patriot Center so far this year. I couldn't hear myself think for the entire second half and OT.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

That was a sick comeback.

10:33 PM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Damn, wish I had been at that game!

Luke was almost the goat, never seen anyone in my life miss 3 free throws in a row from a three point shot.

Great win though, Birdsong played really well, defense stepped up in the second half and OT, and Sanders fouling out and missing OT was huge.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

A loss would have been tough to swallow. A desperately needed win especially when you consider they're traveling to ODU on Saturday. Hancock had an off-night shooting but he brought the intangibles of grit and defensive tenacity that were sorely needed. No doubt that Birdsong keyed this win with big plays at important junctures.

10:45 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Amazing comeback! Without a doubt-Birdsong and Long were the heroes. Wright played excellent defense. Hancock not-so-much-okay 4assists. The fortunate thing for Luke is- Larranaga ignores his mistakes and allows him time on the court to redeem himself. That is not what makes a hero. Cam ran the offense and let the game come to him. He willed this team to victory and Birdsong ignited this team when they needed it the most. Congratulations to the Co-captains of this team and their supporting cast. Mooky where are you?

11:08 PM  
Blogger's good for you. said...

Incredible win. Very proud of this team's refuse to die attitude tonight. Cam Long has to be discussed in POY discussions. As for Larry much for being the better big man in this game, Mr. Overhyped and Overrated. GO MIKE!!

11:18 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Great night.

Morrison played his best game of the year, defended Sanders well. Johnny Williams gave great minutes (comin' on) and hit a clutch free throw, Louis "Otis" Birdsong got some looks and did what he does- great shooter. Wish he could get more spot up looks.

You heard it here first(?): Cam Long will play professionally. He does it all in a very understated way. Play the point? Ok. Shoot with range? Yeah. Explosive? Yeah. Pass and think and defend? Yup, Yup, Yup. Clutch? He's money. Not much flash or chest pounding. Great floor leader. Carrying the team.

You can have Luke and Cornelius. Not mentally tough. Rodriguez was killing him (killed everyone) and Cornelius pouted and almost didn't check in to handle the ball at the end of the game. I like Pearson but what's with the three point attempts? He thinks he's Sam Perkins? He's tough down low and needs to stay there and work the left hand.

And they all need to hit their foul shots.

Nice win.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Brock said...

What's up with Cornelius? He needs to straighten up.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Mark! said...

Awesome game! I wish I could have been in the building, but with the snow I was stuck at home. I was jumping around like an idiot when they forced overtime. Cam Long's free throws were amazing!

9:20 AM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

Finally they showed some heart. A friend that was at the game and I were texting back a forth about how they had no intensity, seemed like they were going through the motions in the first half. To me it looked like a twenty point blowout in the making.

Then the second half came and they remembered how to play defense and make a lay up. I guess when they start the game strong they have a weak second half and when they start slow they comeback strong?

Great second half and overtime even though there were still some fundmental mistakes. Freethrow shooting is still an issue, as well as playing me ball. Luke and Pearson both had moments where they were just horrible. As far as Cam goes yeah he made his freethrows tonight but still shot 4-13 doesn't seem heroic. To me the spark and the turn around was Birdsong on both ends of the court.

Cornelius needs to stop quitting on himself and the team. A no show in the second half except to get fouled and make 1 of 2. It seemed like he was uninterested in attempting to make the shots. I don't know maybe I am just picking on one or two players again.

Great comeback and a needed win.

9:21 AM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Mooky you never disappoint. Always harping on the negative. Everyone has a right to chose their own heroes. I agree Birdsong played very well as did Morrison. Cam played well the entire game(10 points first half). He was smart enough to draw fouls and convert his free throws. Field goal percentage? Come on now-stop picking....

10:25 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'm giving the game ball to Morrison. He did pretty much everything you'd ask a big man to do, including a fine defensive game against Sanders, and including some excellent play in the home stretch with 4 fouls against him. He clearly fed off the emotion of the game (which can have its downside, but not last night).

10:56 AM  
Blogger What Not said...

Glad to see Morrison run the floor and just play hard beginning to end but Long carries that team night after night. Very thankful he is there to take over the point. VCU played very good perimeter D, especially in the first half and really denied open looks, effectively taking away the Jim McKays. GMU guards did a nice job attacking and dishing.

11:20 AM  
Blogger jp23 said...

Some leader Larry Sanders was; spent his disqualification time sulking on the bench. Not to mention the T he took earlier (should he have been booted??) The Larry Sanders show is now on hiatus!!

Way to go Mason...finally a win in the clutch against a good team!! Bring on ODU!!

11:24 AM  
Blogger Brent said...

What a great signature win. How many games have we won by the seat of our pants this year? This loss really would have hurt our confidence, but the win certainly has them back on track.

I missed most of the first half, but here are some thoughts from the second. Morrison continues to come into his own and improve. His game is confidence because when he is playing aggressive, he is hard to stop. He has games where he gets taken out early and we never hear from him again. The last couple games he has continued to come on and play an important role as our best rebounder. Cam Long IS the MVP and most important player. He makes things move and he really can drive the lane at will when he wants to. Unfortunately he is our only great foul shooter too!

Birdsong was a huge catalyst off the bench and really should get more and more PT as we head towards the tourney. His experience is starting to pay dividends. I think he is also accepting his role too.

Pearson is steady, but rarely takes over a game. I have seen guys rebound over him lately. Great scrapper. Cornelius was out of the game mentally. He didn't do much in the second half cause he didn't play much in the second half! Maybe less than 5 minutes even. We have to get him going. I really wish he would look to penetrate and dish more. That is what this team really needs.

What a great momentum game. Let's keep the train rolling! I don't think many of us expect them to beat ODU, so it should be fun to see how we respond.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...


Didn't mean to leave out Cam, but you are right, that win doesn't happen without him. But I guess I was just already expecting him to be solid at home and thinking the supporting roles were very going to be very important last night, which they were.

How about Morrison going right out Sanders in this one? Loved that aggression from him, need to see more it.

11:48 AM  
Blogger KyleV said...

As great as Cam and Mike were at getting to the basket, this team has got to do a better job shooting. VCU did play great outside D, but there were several occasions where Pearson (who has no business shooting anyways) and Luke had wide open looks. If we dont start hitting the 3-Ball with atleast a little bit more consistency, we are looking at a short tourny run. Great game though, everyone showed a lot of heart. Cam Long has ice in his blood and thats great to know with the post-season coming up.

12:18 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Would like to see more of Tate!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This stuff with Pearson and Cornelius is starting to worry me. We need them to be team players, not attitude problems. Hopefully, this game will be a wake up call to show what we can do if we have the mental game with us. At 6-6, Pearson is an undersized big guy, so he needs to play with positive steam to be effective. Ditto Cornelius -- can't run the point if you don't bristle with positive energy.

4:10 PM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

green and gold you pick your heros and I will pick and choose what to write about. Personally I think a hero is someone that doesn't play a game. Personally I think heros are people that go out of their way to make a difference in the world not put a ball threw a hoop. Just like the game was not a war or a battle. But this is what I choose to write about. Because i can. If you don't like what I write because you feel it is negative then don't read it.

4:45 PM  
Blogger G said...

this team could be a potential start to finish top 25 team in 2-3 years if everyone continues to develop and attitudes stay in check.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

I'd like to see more of Tate. He is great on defense and should have been put on Rodriguez earlier.
He could also help with the three's instead of on the bench.

5:26 PM  
Blogger greenandgold said...

Mooky very well written,thought out and grown up reply (as I clear my throat). I enjoy reading your negative comments. It is one of the many freedoms I enjoy. Now back to basketball-Go Mason!!!!

7:46 PM  
Blogger What Not said...

Interesting that Coach L sat Pearson and Cornelius because of 'tude. You could see it- especially from Cornelius.

Big positives:
-Morrison defending and running the floor. Picking up the trash buckets he should with his size.
-Johnny Williams, he's my new Fleming. Works, works, works.
-"Otis" Birdsong getting looks. Best pure shooter they have. if he and Long can hit from the perimeter, watch out. It will open things up considerably for the low post.

8:24 AM  

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