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George Mason wins another ugly CAA game, takes out upstart Georgia State

George Mason Basketball: George Mason wins another ugly CAA game, takes out upstart Georgia State

Sunday, January 08, 2012

George Mason wins another ugly CAA game, takes out upstart Georgia State

Credit: Bill Bride
In a way this was a game similar to the ODU one a few nights ago.  Mason had some scoring droughts and appeared sloppy on both ends of the court.  But in the end these Patriots proved they can slug out a win without getting the usual from Ryan Pearson.  Pearson was in early foul trouble and also just didn't look like himself last night. No he didn't shave off the beard but he had a difficult time getting into a rhythm and credit should go to Ron Hunter and Georgia State's defensive game plan. The Panthers confused Mason with their variety of different match-up zone defenses and forced Mason into some erratic possessions. Mike Morrison picked up the slack with Pearson riding the bench much of the 2nd half and ended up with 14 points, 4 blocks, and a career-high 15 rebounds. His emphatic dunks and energy reminded us of his best moments from last season. Pearson on the other hand had no field goals (10 points from FTs), something that hasn't happened to him since his freshman year back in November 2008. 

The Patriots had trouble with turnovers again last night, something they had been improving on in recent games.  They also had very poor shot selection in the 2nd half shooting only 32% from the field but made up for it at the free-throw line.  Bryon Allen was also in foul trouble which led to more of freshman Corey Edwards at point guard. Edwards ended up with five turnovers in 16 minutes of action.  Pearson and Allen on the bench disrupted Mason's flow but Vertrail Vaughns and Mike Morrison stepped up when the team needed a basket.  And much like in the ODU game they got a defensive stop when they needed it.  In the last 2 and half minutes of the game they went 11-for-12 from the free-throw line to secure the win.  

Credit: Bill Bride
The Patriots now stand alone atop the CAA standings at 4-0 and are off to their best start in the conference since the '08-'09 season. The schedule doesn't get any easier as they now head to road against Drexel, which could be another ugly game.



Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Wasn't at the game, but is sounds like Morrison was a beast - Roland Houston is as good as advertised teaching post players.  Good to know Vertrail is coming out of his early season slump.  That really opens up things.  The main thing that concerns me is that Sherrod hasn't done much the last few games.  I never would have guessed that 3 weeks ago we'd be sitting where we are today.  Best case scenario we run the table in the CAA.  Worst case scenario we are a "tough out" for any team that has to play us in the tourney and are the team nobody wants to see in their bracket.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Geronimo said...

Really liked the way Mason battled in the game last night. I thought #20 for the Panthers was very disruptive in the paint. I think last night was more important than just the win. The Patriots showed that they can adapt their game to a very tough opponent and find ways to score. I hope we get to see more games like this. If they can get everyone playing at this level at the same time, they will be a very dangerous team!

10:14 AM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

Great game last night from a team perspective and crowd perspective.  I have rarely seen a mason crowd so into a game.  it was really good to see.  It was truly a team effort for the win. GSU is a solid team, esp. from the defensive side of the ball.  Their pressure zone made it feel like they had 6 players on the floor on that side of the ball.  Allen and Pearson both had early and often foul trouble but others guys stepped up.  I did not think I would ever write this two weeks ago, but Mason is really coming together as a team and guys are stepping up.  Morrison was a stud last night and VV looked real good. This was on a night were Pearson did not have a FG and Acorn looked off on shooting the long ball.  That was a big win!  Esp. showing TEAM EFFORT!  I am excited again like I was before the season started.  GO PATRIOTS!

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Georgia State is a very unusual team. Great defense but no real shooters. They will be real tough for everyone. Anything can and will happen but it is easy to see marked improvment in each game with this team. Sure we need to get 40 plus with at least 3 players and Sherrod has to find his offensive game but the entire Coaching staff knows what is right and most important what needs work,so the best is still down the road. How they react mentally to the ups and downs both during the games and the season will tell the story. It is still early but the message is clear,this is a together team from top to bottom.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous G-n-G said...

Gritty win over an overhauled opponent. Congrats to Coach Hunter for bringing a new mentality to GSU. Having a roster of seniors and juniors doesn't hurt. I'll offer a few impressions from the game. First, the environment was terrific. It was a surprise to read that only 5100 people were there because the atmosphere was electric. Second, GMU keeps showing that it's not one-dimensional. Pearson has a career night, Cornelius leads the team in scoring, Allen does so a few games later, and last night it was Morrison and Vaughns who were the stabilizing force. That's a very good sign when an opponent can't key in on just one or two players (see: Hofstra's Jenkins last year). Third, the team played with obvious emotion but they never got carrier away or distracted despite GSU's efforts to bait them. That's a nice sign of maturity. Fourth, another is that the team never hung its head or lost its cool despite quite a few head-stratching calls/non-calls by referees. I really thought Coach Hewitt was going to strangle someone late in the second half after a bad call (he ripped off his jacket instead). Fifth, Allen and Vaughns seem able to get to the rim with some consistency. I'd love to see Wright do the same instead of settling for 3-pointers. Sixth, with Pearson out it seemed like a great opportunity for Arledge and Bennett but they never saw action. Is Bennett this year's version of Rashad Whack?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous couch coach said...

The game was tied last night with less than 2 minutes to go and Allen (our point) pulled up from behind the 3 point arc and threw up a brick (not surprised, since he shoots below 20% from there). The guy has to use his head more. He never would have tried that with Coach L. on the bench. He's had 4 assists total in our last two games combined. We've got huge troubles here. Edwards (our other point) attempted a 45 foot alley-oop pass with just over two minutes to play, down by 1! My concern, coach Hewitt, can he coach? We made 11 of 12 foul shots in the last few minutes of the game and that's why we won. This team is good enough to win a lot of games against weak opponents. We were very lucky to beat a very average team last night on our own home court. I'm not clapping. I'm sitting quietly; I know what’s waiting for us down the pike... an out in Richmond and a pathetic bid to a low level post season tournament ( or something).

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

Man You're such a downer. Quit talking about Coach L woulda done this or that. As much as I respected him he's moved on. Maybe you should too.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

This is great. We have a forum to say what we think and sometimes what we think we see. As a wise man once said "Two men looked out beyond the bars,One saw mud the other stars". For what is worth the reality is this is a new team with a new coach and a new year and last I checked they were 4 and 0. Its just me but I plan on looking ahead but then horses sometimes win with blinders on.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Neeker29 said...

Couch the negativity and smell the roses!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Coach L was a not a effective road coach and player development was not his strength. Mr Couch there are choices to be made: 1. move on and accept our coach Hewitt who appears be effective in both areas or 2. become a Hurricane fan.  

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

As a Mason grad, Mason fan, and Patriot Club member, I am please with the progress Coach Hewitt has had with the team over the last month.  I am proud to have him part of the Mason family.  I also respect the 14 years of Coach L on the sidelines and what he accomplished.  It is possible to accept and support Hewitt *and* root for Miami when they are playing anybody not named Mason.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous jay said...

Charlie does that include Jihad Ali?

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I'll take 4-0 in the CAA.  We beat ODU which was a "test".  We beat GSU which was a "test."  Now we have another "test" against an underachieving Drexel team (thus far).  And considering the post play, I would like to nominate Roland Houston for NCAA Assistant Coach of the Year!

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Brentrg said...

That was a fun game to watch.  Got a little nervous at the end as Edwards was moving way too fast and made MULTIPLE bone headed passes.  He is still raw and I think we be great in the future, but he still has lots to learn.  I continue to love Allen.  If you've been watching him, his TO's are not because he can't handle the ball, they are because he is moving too fast, or makes a pass w/o thinking.  His scoring ability and driving the lane is something we have not seen in years from the pg position.  He still has much learning to do, but even a few games ago, I thought we were in trouble at the pg position. 
Morrison was an absolute beast last night and it was good to see us out rebound someone for once!  Like everyone has said, it's been great to see that different guys can step up each night and take over a game.  Pearson still has a CAA POY award to take!!!
It was fun listening to the post game video and how much Morrison thinks of Copes.  He said how much Copes soaks everything up and wants to grow.  Man am I excited.  I know I am looking ahead, but I can't help but think about Holloway and his three point shooting.  The future is bright boys.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Jacobcoach1 said...

 There was 5 seconds left on the shot clock so he had to shoot!! Edwards threw a  ill-advised alley-oop that senior Mike Mo signaled for. Both of these guys are really freshman because BA never really played last year so he is learning on the job! Coach L is not coming back so move on already !

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

Stay on the couch, coach. 
Allen's 3 was taken because the shot clock ran down. Edwards subbed in and did a nice job against a good press. Allen then came back in and ran the offense well. Other than a couple of awful turnovers early he had a good game against an inspired defensive team. 11 of 12 from the line is good coaching, as they did the right things to get to the line and then finish it. 

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

That was a damn good basketball game, the refs notwithstanding.
This team will rise and fall with Mike Mo, in my humble opinion. If he plays like he did last night, they'll be very tough to beat. He never once got out of control and played with poise and asserted himself in the low post. It's a good sign when RP has an off night (was really well defended) and others step up. If the bigs can assert themselves we'll see the guards get loose for open looks. 
Copes was key too. He played great defense last night, and the rest of the team gave good help. The guards overplayed their guards and forced them  left or right or baseline where the big men stepped and helped.  AC did a nice job on 4.  
I didn't think the game was sloppy or poorly played. I thought GA State played inspired D, yet Mason handled the press well and created some turnovers off their own pressure. And the Masonettes, per usual were not to be outworked and doubled down and gave an extended half time show. Stellar.  

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

I agree. I will also admit that negative comments about our players and coaches does strike a chord. But then this site is great since it gives everyone an opportunity to say whatever they want. My blinders remark is simply a statement that perhaps there are a few people out there that are not seeing what the majority of us are seeing. Whatever, it is a pleasure to be a true fan.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Vertrail and he tied with 6 shots made. I should have said other then him. They ,like us, will improve and they will continue to make many teams in the CAA uncomfortable.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Good said...

VCU was down by Drxel. We will face the dragons soon. 

10:20 PM  
Anonymous commboy said...

GS's defense reminds how the great Mason team in 05-06 causing all kinds of issues to other teams with their stingy defense. Luckily GS does not have the same fire power. It is a great sign that our team never back down, different players stepped up (big WOWs to Morrison and VV). I am glad, and surprised like many, how much progress has been made over the past month. Great jobs to both coaches and players.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous JoeK said...

I have been to a few Mason games this year.  Overall, the team has more potential than the games they have won.  Against Georgia, the win could have come easier for Mason.  Here are a few things I saw during the game.

Mike M,is under untilized on offense.  Almost every possession he got against George, he scored.  There were several times he was in a position, against a 6-0 guard or so, in the post and his team didn't see it.  He could have easily had 20+ points in the game.  He also did okay on the defensive end.

Ryan P, his defense hustle is terrible.  He almost doesn't try.  He got beat plenty of times at the top of the key, and did a poor job of adjusting down low on defense when picks were set.  Thank God he came through at the end of the game.  He was kinda quite most the night.  Not to mention he had some horrible fouls called against him.

Vaughn played well.  His 3 ball is pretty.  He was hitting them early on.

I think Mason is doing well, but could be better.  Mike M needs to get the ball more in the post each game.  That simple.  He has the skill and hustle to get the job done.  Maybe Paul H will see that a run some more plays into him.  

Finally, Mason should win the CAA this year if they stay healthy.  

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

You are correct. Mike was open a lot on the blocks and the guards did not make the entry pass. That said, he has to keep working to get the ball there. He seemed to want it Saturday night. It's there. 

12:18 PM  
Anonymous couch coach said...

I didn't say what coach L would have done. I said Allen wouldn't have tried that (3 pt shot as a below 20% 3 pt shooter) with coach L on the bench, in that situation (less than 2 minutes to go). It was a reference to the kind of control coach H. has with this team. I then gave another of example of this (edwards turning the ball over with a 45 foot alleyhoop pass with 2 min left). Can one use a reference point of one coach over the other to show lack of discipline? I think you 6 likes up there should move on, i have.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous couch coach said...

please read reply to above.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous couch coach said...

There's no debate about this one. He had plenty of time to drive the lane , get foulded or dish. Like i said, a 15% 3 pt shooter is a turnover machine from behind the arc. I was right. He missed it. It was no better than a turnover.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

I will say you make this site even more fun to read. Somewhere in all this back and forth is a great fan base and one with opinions that show just how much we all care. So we agree to disagree. The one thing I will disagree with you involves the relationship(discipline) that the coaching staff has with the players. But then that is your opinion. No one wants to erase the memory of Coach L. but this is not his team and what he would or would not do is highly hypothetical.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous overrated14 said...

Allen would have never gotten Real playing time under Coach L; of course he wouldn't have thrown up that shot.  Nice to see Hewitt instill confidence in his players and not yank them out of the game for making a mistake. 

1:24 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

Something I definitely like about Hewitt, guys don't have a short lease with him like Coach L did with certain players.

1:28 PM  

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