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Ryan Pearson has career night as Patriots play their most impressive game of the season

George Mason Basketball: Ryan Pearson has career night as Patriots play their most impressive game of the season

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ryan Pearson has career night as Patriots play their most impressive game of the season

Photo by John Powell
Wow, where has this team been? Andre Cornelius has been back for three games but certainly his presence alone could not have sparked what we witnessed last night against Charleston. The Patriots look motivated, on both ends of the court and sported a balance attack on offense. They ended Charleston's 15-game home court winning streak just as there own 18-game one was ended by Duquesne last Wednesday. Ah the circle of college basketball life.  Mason was red hot from the field to open the game (54% in the 1st half) and held Charleston's long range attack in check. It was easily the Patriots best perimeter defense we have seen all year, largely due to Andre Cornelius being in the teeth of the Cougars back court all night long.  The Patriots offense was explosive but they also won the turnover battle (only 9 TOs!) and fought off the Cougars balanced attacked of five players finishing in double figures.  

Ryan Pearson is keeping his #FeartheBeard campaign going strong after his 35 point, 14 rebound performance. He had four "and 1" calls and connected on all of them at the free-throw line.  The Cougars didn't have an answer for him in the front court. His teammates hitting three-pointers definitely helped open things up and gave the Patriots balance that they have been missing.  Pearson ended up taking 25 shots and ended up making 15 of them. This was that Wow performance of the season we had been looking for and we knew he was capable of doing.  

Hopefully the Patriots can build on this as they are about to head into a tough early stretch of CAA games.  You would not have thought by watching last night that the team had any chemistry issues as they ran things pretty fluidly.  They will need to continue that defensive efforts against teams like VCU, ODU, and Drexel to be atop the CAA standings.  An improving defense coupled with their offensive firepower makes them one of the most balanced CAA teams.  

Perhaps that home loss to a lesser opponent like Duquesne was what this team needed to get motivated. Remember in 2005-06 when Mason got drubbed by Creighton at home before CAA play?



Anonymous Coolbeans said...

Great night for Pearson. But we need others like Mike Mo to step it up. MIKE has the potential to do  good things, I am looking forward to see him help this team succeed.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Hopefully this is the begining of great things from this team.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Rpoliseo said...

Saw the game streamed in and other than Pearson going off it was there much tighter defense that won the game. the definitely play more aggressively and with spirit. Ryan is a beast, they had no ansewer for our leader. Great game for the team,, now lets build on it going forward.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Blockhead said...

Didn't catch the game, but I'm most impressed with Ryan's rebounding numbers. Thats the way to clean the glass. 

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Great defense.  Respectable foul shooting (13-19).  Single Digit Turnovers (9).  Smart passing. Breaking the press.  These are all fundamentals we've been talking about for weeks.  Run and gun, great recruiting, up tempo, yadayadayada is great and all.  But at the end of the days if you don't do the fundamentals it means nothing.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous bdgg said...

This is a solid win against a very good team on the road no less.  THIS is what I think we were all expecting to see all year long; lets hope they have finally found the on switch and can put together a solid CAA campaign.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Chris S said...

Hewitt did a brilliant move bring Pearson back to the top of the key where the Cougar defense could not clamp down on him.  He was able to work with BA and do some great offensive sets. It was also obvious the coaches are going back to a strong half court defense instead of trying to press all the time.  That yielded benefits. It seems the weeks of Coach Hewitt experimenting with the players has resulted in an optimal mix.  Also have to recognize Copes who was a beast for the minutes he played and Vaughn Gray started to shine.  

THIS was a game to build on and on the road no less.  Now let's go crush William and Mary. 

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Gio said...

Figures I miss their best game yet, well I can always catch the replay on Espn 3 I suppose. Really proud of the way the team has stepped it up. Going to an intimidating environment like that and beating a hot team is admirable. Keep it up!!

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Since it's a noon weekday game, and the students are out of school, what is the over/under on attendance?

8:09 PM  
Anonymous mooky_l3d said...

I missed the game so I can only say what a great road win.  Looking at the stats it must have been the best game played this year.  GO MASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Brentrg said...

This was a great game and what we have been expecting to happen all season.  It starts with relentless effort, and that is what they gave on both ends of the floor.  Hustle and defense was a huge factor, but I think the biggest factor was that we finally had a great game shooting the three.  When we have an inside/outside game, it makes defenses play honest.  It opens things up for Pearson as well.  It also helped that everything he put up, fell in!!!  The Pearson we have grown to love.  I may have been wrong about Byron Allen and the coach sure seems to think so.  Edwards only got 8 minutes.  If Allen can continue to play under control, he might actually make a very good PG who can score and take people off the dribble.  We did all this WITH Mike Mo not contributing that much statistically.  I also agree that Gray look like he has a nice upside.  I followed his stats his senior year in HS, and he showed he could dominate a game as he had a few 30+ scoring games.  He also would disappear at times, but as he becomes more consistent he seems to be able to do it all.  He had an "almost" nasty flush on a drive, but missed the dunk!  He has a decent 3 and should get better there as well.

I look forward seeing how this team continues to come together.  I have high hopes for our CAA schedule and think we have all the pieces for a NCAA run!

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I like the minutes people got more than ever as well.  In the loss at home Pearson only played like 28 min.  Liked the mix of minutes for this game. 

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Great game, the whole 9.  The only negative I saw is that Sherrod Wright only had 3 points.  But the positives FAR outweighed the negative.

And it will be interesting to see how a noon start vs. W&M today will be.  There won't be much of a crowd there (weekday noon game, students out, etc.), but it will be good to see how we do.  If we come out like last game the crowd will be happy.  If we come out like Duquesne the crowd will not be.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Neeker10 said...

Decent win today against W&M and nice game AC. Crowd of 5000 which is not bad for a monday noon start. ODU away and Georga State home this week would be a huge win at ODU.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous overrated14 said...

Nice to see that players are getting to play under Hewitt and Ryan is putting up POY numbers.  Neither would have been the case ala Coach L and Luke.  Go Hewitt.  Go Mason!

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

overrated14?  Does that mean what I think it means?

6:19 PM  

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