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Mason comes up short in Dayton

George Mason Basketball: Mason comes up short in Dayton

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mason comes up short in Dayton

George Mason lost to Dayton in front of a sell out crowd last night 73-67 despite great efforts from Cam Long and Andre Cornelius.  It was one of the worst shooting nights from the field for the Patriots this season yet there were in this game until the closing minutes. Cam Long kept them in the game hitting shots and making plays when they needed it.  Andre Cornelius was hot from the three-point line (5-of-8) but fizzled a little in the second half.  Mason hurt early when Mike Morrison made his usual early 1st half exit due to two quick fouls.  When he returned in the 2nd half he was down right awful.  Ryan Pearson, despite scoring 13 points missed way too many easy shots and threw up some other questionable ones.  Defensively the Patriots weren't quite prepared for a team like Dayton that had the ability to score in a variety of ways.  They had no answer for forward Chris Johnson, who despite playing with an injured groin scored 18 points.  Chris Wright was all over the floor grabbing 9 rebounds and adding 13 points.  For some reason Mason attempted to go right at him with Ryan Pearson in the low post, that resulted in Pearson going 3-for-10 from the field and often killing any runs they tried to amount.  Luke Hancock still doesn't seem a 100% to me with his shoulder injury/soreness. He had a very respectable night scoring 8, getting 5 rebounds and 5 assists but they really needed him to complement Cam Long's scoring in the 2nd half.

A couple things stood out last night that shows the Patriots aren't quite there yet in teams of beating the better teams out there.  First off they need more production from their bench and not just in scoring.  Paris Bennett and Jonathan Arledge aren't always up for playing solid defense. Arledge is aggressive but not really that smart of a defender right now.  Getting no points Isaiah Tate and Vertrail Vaughns is very disappointing when we have seen how they can change a game with their three-point shooting.  Another issue for Mason last night was there rebounding, although they didn't get killed in the category on the final box score they really lost the battle in the beginning of this game.  Their poor rebounding efforts in the 1st half trumped their 44% FG shooting and let Dayton take the lead at the half. And lastly Dayton got to the free-throw line with ease most of the game and really made the Patriots pay for it. In the first half the Flyer were 10-10 from the line and finished the game going 23-for-31 from there, that's just too many points to give up.  Mason got their fair share of free-throws, some on some questionable calls but they couldn't take advantage as much as they needed to.  The Flyers had a lot of players in foul trouble but Mason failed to really take advantage.  



Anonymous Rick said...

I would add that Staten was a key player in the game (and a freshman guard at that -- wish one of our freshmen could have stepped up like he did!). Seems like the Dayton game plan had them shooting 3's in the first half, and then in the second when we started pressing them on the perimeter, they started driving to the hoop more. And Staten was instrumental in getting those second half points.
But that was good coaching and execution -- I can handle losing that way, relatively speaking. What bothers me more is that when we had a chance to pull off the late comeback, it seems our offensive discipline went out the window. Cam rushed his floater shot, Reverend Luke tossed up a prayer, expecting to get a foul more than chance to score, and Ryan Pearson took a Chevy Chase tequila shot (you know, where you throw the salt over your shoulder). We have the makings of a scrappy team that can come at you from all angles, and we are likely to be in a lot of down to the wire games against the other CAA power teams... we can't choke like that!

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dayton exposed our defensive shortcomings. I can't quite figure out why we didn't play zone defense at some point in this game. Our bench was an absolute NO SHOW. Let's hope for a monster conference winning streak. Go Mason!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps talking about our bench was a no show, the bench can only do so much with the little minutes they are getting, they get sub in and 1 or 2 minutes later they are out. I think Coach L is going to have to let some of the guys on the bench get into the game a little more so that they came produce. It seems to me that he only wants to play the starting 5 and that is the same starting 5 he did not do well with last year. Ike Tate has been playing very well and playing great defense, but Coach L to me is not using him or some of the other guys on the bench like he should. So stop saying it is the bench and someone tell the Coach that he has a better team this year then he had last year but he needs to figure out how to use this team better. That is my take on this.

11:47 AM  
Blogger C Hirsch said...

Tate has consistently been inconsistent his entire Mason career.

Ryan, does your site not work on Firefox? It asks me for a password?

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea.... tough game. It was hard to swallow because it was evident we just are not up to the caliber of top shelf teams in the mid-majors. To me our defense was a big factor. They got to the foul line, finished at the rim, and we just could not hit the big shots when we needed to. I agree that if Vaughns or Tate hit some shots it would have been a different story. They really were not given a chance.

I agree also about Pearson and Mike Mo. Against smaller and inferior teams, they shine and can have their way. Against good, smart teams, their selfishness shows up too much. Both of them forced shots in the second half when we needed points. One on play, Pearson dribbled down low, had two guys on him, and then the THIRD guy came in and swatted his ball out of bounds! They need to pass and create for other players when it's crunch time, not take it upon their shoulders to force shots.

It was a setback for this team, as I had hoped they were really becoming an elite team, but they still have much to learn, and it seemed like they reverted back to old ways when they found themselves in a hole. Let's hope for a great CAA run!

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous did you look at the stats? The bench in this particular game did NOTHING. The bench was in for 53 minutes and produced 4 pts and 4 rebounds. As we all know, if bench players do not produce, they are in only long enough to give the starters a break.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Luke Hancock's prayer looked like he was trying to get his left hand over onto of the ball to help control but he couldn't because of the injury or the bandage and thats why it went wide.

Arledge got plenty of minutes. Unforunately he didn't look too good on his feet, I believe in him but man its going to be growing pains while he matures. It was almost like watching Mo in his freshmen year.

Cam took too much on, [well he had to with no one else stepping up] this is where Luke normally puts our team in balance, but his shoulder was definitely affecting him. He had a sweet pull up jumper early which I really thought he was going to miss because of his shoulder, when he made it I thought maybe he was okay, but then he missed two free throws.

The rebounding, I thought a lot of that was just an unbalanced result of the reffing. We got a lot of odd, and questionable calls, and so did they. Pearson's technical woke the refs up, as it usually does. Then they slid back into sleep walking late in the second half. Overall I think the reffing was [bad but] fair. So I'm not saying we lost because of that, we were out played and our defense was broken time and again.

My final thoughts, had Luke been 100% we might have walked away with a win. Then again, we'll never know. Lets finish this season strong.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mason never was able to recover from the five point swing that followed Pearson's technical foul in the first half. The foul seemed excessive to me for his gesture -- lots of guys complained throughout the game to the refs as it was a physical game -- so maybe Pearson said something that earned the technical?

They were scrappy at the end and surprisingly manufactured a chance to win. Knowing that they can do that will serve them well down the road.

But...they blew that opportunity with terrible shots and other brain dead plays. I still cringe thinking about how Morrison dove on to the floor to save a ball heading out of bounds -- off of a Dayton player. He batted it back into Dayton's hands which then turned into a fast break basket. Come on, you have to have better floor sense than that. I would mention Pearson's crummy shot, but Rick already gave it a better description than I can. And Hancock going 0-2 from the foul line at the end is inexcusable, hurt shoulder or no. Remarkably, this was a winnable game despite the dumb plays at the end.

12:44 AM  
Blogger mooky_l3d said...

To me it as a decent game that the better team won. It wasn't a drubbing like VCU gave last season or a lack of confidence like against NC State. They played on the road in a packed house against a team that is routinely in their conference top three or in the NCAA tourney. It was a frustrating game because of the many missed opportunities but I don't think this means Mason is not a top caliber Mid Major. I don't think this would have the same result in Fairfax. Too many variables in this game to call it a huge disappointment. Tough loss but not the end of the season. Mason won't get an at-large bid this season anyway not with the weak schedule they have. So winning the CAA is the ultimate prize and goal. Anything other than that would just be a nice addition. Now I will say that if this team doesn't finish with at least 20 wins at the end of the regular season then this will be a disappointment. Great start but you have to finish strong. GO MASON

12:09 PM  

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