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George Mason wins 8th straight, moves into share of 1st place in CAA

George Mason Basketball: George Mason wins 8th straight, moves into share of 1st place in CAA

Thursday, February 03, 2011

George Mason wins 8th straight, moves into share of 1st place in CAA

George Mason's offensive firepower overwhelmed Hofstra last night 87-68 on route to their 8th straight victory.  This is the longest winning streak for the team since the magical 2005-2006 season.  Mason's RPI is now at #28, best in the CAA currently as they continue to mow down the competition in their conference. Andre Cornelius, who has been heating up lately, had a huge impact in this one.  He is starting to look like he has found his groove back from behind the arch and hitting outside shots like he was at the end of last season. The Big Three, however, continues to lead the way as Long, Hancock, and Pearson combined for 43 points, 24 of the team's 40 rebounds, and 14 of the team's 20 assists on the night.  They started to run last night and Hofstra just flat out couldn't keep up. Mason's has too weapons for a team like Hofstra to defend and that is what has made them so dangerous during this winning streak. Credit Isaiah Tate for playing Charles Jenkins tough in the 2nd half after he was plagued with fouls in the 1st.

Coach Larranaga naturally can't miss the opportunity to unleash his story-telling skills, as he compares this year's team to lumberjacks. No I'm not kidding:
"For perspective, Larranaga, a master storyteller well known for referencing fables and parables to make a point, told a winding tale of competing lumberjacks: one who cut down trees non-stop, the other who took periodic breaks and ultimately boasted a greater haul.

What in the name of the NCAA does tall timber have to do with basketball?

"We call it sharpening our saw," he said. In essence, success is achieved by pacing oneself.

"With us," he explained in simpler terms, "we have got to be smart about gaining some valuable rest and be focused physically, mentally and emotionally for our next game."
Oh that Larranaga.  Funny stories aside it is difficult to not compare this team to that infamous 2006 squad but I think this year's team has an identity all it's own.  They winning games in a different fashion then those guys did. They are using speed, pushing the tempo, and shooting the ball extremely well from the outside.  They are no burly forwards grinding it out like Jai Lewis and Will Thomas did. Instead you have a team that is equally as tough to gameplan against as you don't always know where the scoring is going to come from.

Now the showdown on Saturday awaits as the Patriots take on ODU. Currently Mason is tied with VCU for 1st place in the CAA and that February 15th date with the Rams could decide 1st place.

Side note: Dick Vitale could be in the broadcast crew for George Mason's Bracketbuster game at Northern Iowa.

[Photo via Flickr via TheMasonBench]



Anonymous Dale Vanwagner said...

Ike Tate was certainly not the only one on CJ last night. They had a regular rotation of Ike, Cam and Luke all spending significant time on #22.

11:23 AM  

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