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George Mason falls to Northeastern in overtime

George Mason Basketball: George Mason falls to Northeastern in overtime

Thursday, February 23, 2012

George Mason falls to Northeastern in overtime

Another sloppy game for the Patriots last night, but this time they couldn't find the needed heroics to come away with the victory.  There were 41 fouls and 43 total turnovers in this game, with the Huskies killing the Patriots at the foul line.  If you need to see how badly they had the advantage at the free throw line just look at the four factors chart below. Junior guard Jonathan Lee had a career-high 27 points, most of which he got at the free-throw line (18-20 from FT). It was astonishing to watch how many times the Patriots sent this kid to the line, over and over again. Some of the fouls on Lee late in the game were above the three-point line, which was just ridiculous in a close game. In the second half, that coupled with sloppiness on defense prevented them from going on any kind of run. Despite Mason's miscues they managed a new season-high for assists in a game, 24. Bryon Allen dished out 13 them but also had a team-high six turnovers.  Two of his erratic passes towards the closing moments of game were devastating to Mason and basically ended the game for them.  I would not be surprised if this spurs Corey Edwards to handle the point more against VCU on Saturday.

Offense wasn't the problem last night, but efficiency on defense was.  The sloppiness snowballed and you could see the demeanor of the team was declining late in the second half. As the frustration mounted the shot selection suffered.  Aside from big three-pointers by Vertrail Vaughns and Ryan Pearson, the Patriots were lucky to make it into overtime.  Northeastern's defense would constantly collapse on Pearson and would not let him get into a rhythm. Mike Morrison took advantage but in the end it just wasn't enough. The Huskies beat the Patriots at their own game, getting to the free-throw line often and converting in transition.  

Not what we had hoped to see from Mason at this point in the year, especially with the battle for the #2 seed happening this Saturday at VCU and the CAA tournament beginning a week from tomorrow.  This team has been difficult to get a read on all season but it's not like most of us didn't see this loss coming.  The writing has been on the walls for awhile now with amount of turnovers and lapses on defense we have seen this year.  Will this loss be the final gut check for this team, or is it too late for that? Certainly a win against VCU on Saturday will make us all forget about this game but you still might have that feeling that any CAA team can beat us in the conference tournament, and that's unsettling. Some are saying this officially ends the at-large talk, but I don't believe this team should have been in that "talk" anyway.  I'm more concerned with that how this team will do in Richmond next weekend and it we saw anything again like we did last night it's going to be an early exit for the Patriots.


On a side note, I think it's time to retire the black jerseys. Mason is 0-2 this season with them, with the other loss coming against UVA back in December.  Someone correct me if I am wrong but I think these are the last four results of the team wearing black uniforms:

2/22/2012 - Loss at Northeastern 85-82 OT
12/6/2012 - Loss at UVA 68-48
3/23/2004 - Loss at Oregon 68-54 (NIT)
3/8/2004 - Loss to VCU 55-54 (CAA finals)

Let's stick with the green and gold.



Anonymous Kathryn said...

I knew those black jerseys were bad news from the second I saw them. Anybody know what color we'll be in this weekend? We SHOULD be in green, but we'll be wearing a VCU color any way it goes... I just hope it's the gold and not the black.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

They don't have green uniforms this year.  It will be gold, guarantee it.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

What's with Cornelius the last two games? 10 fouls and 11 points! Maybe it's time to for him to end the season the way it began.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

 Haha that's what I'm sayin' - I know we don't have green which is RIDICULOUS because our only options are to wear the other team's colors. SAD.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

The jerseys being black is what makes them lose.  Yes that has to be it.  They can't see each other or they look like the other team or maybe it is like the black suit spider man.  The jersey takes over their minds and makes them play bad.  COME ON MAN!

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Mooky_l3d said...

Oh if Edwards handles the ball more against VCU look for them to trap him every time.  He picks the ball up to soon and dribbles to know where.  He got punked last night for doing the same thing.  Stick with what got you this far and make adjustments.  For instance stay on your F'in feet and stop jump passes.  Don't dribble to the trap or and pass to your team and don't be lazy about it. 

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Your comments were right on. The one I really liked was "this team has been hard to get a read on all season". No matter who we play we seem to create an atmosphere that causes the other team to act like"lose to these guys no way". This has to come from the turnovers. For the first time last night and yes it may have happened before, I felt overall frustration among the players. How they react this Saturday and next Saturday will be key. Wish them the best.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Matt Cerilli said...

Yeah I love his on the ball defense but the fouls 45 feet away from the basket always kill me.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

What was that play call at the end of regulation? Bryon hold on to the ball until 5 seconds are left then do something? Awful.

What were we doing in the first half that we didn't in the second? I didn't start watching until the final 4 minutes of the second half. Saw we were up 7 at the half and thought we had it in the bag.

Possibly facing Georgia State in a second round CAA game is pretty frightening.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous gmubball said...

Allen's speed beat the VCU traps in the first game (even when he dribbled down the sideline) and forced VCU into zone (which they did not seem comfortable in). I expect VCU to adjust, but until they show they can stop Allen, he should be in the game.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

That was a completely irritating, aggravating game.  Look at the statline for Kashief Edwards... 8 for 10 shooting.  Guess what the 8 shots were.  ALL layups or dunks.  The two misses were jumpers.  Then of course the Lee statline with 20 blasted freethrows.  And that's the snapshot I take from the game -- an endless string of Lee penetrations into the lane, a Patriot providing weakside help, resulting in a wide open dish to Edwards for the easy dunk/layup.  Why was there no adjustment?  You'd think after umpteen trips to the foul line that at least we would conclude that the primary defender on Lee is perfectly capable of fouling by himself, so scratch the weakside help!  But no, that continues unabated right into overtime, where we see the ugliest contrast of all: Allen trying the same penetrate-and-dish ... to a perfectly covered Morrison, whose defender effortlessly extends his arm to deflect the pass and cause yet another turnover.  All aided by refs who must have had a delicious meal of those home-cooked Boston beans (really, I had to say this, because I saw it coming, it just looked like NU was hacking on our inside guys pretty good, not outlandish, but enough to cause me to say to myself "it's just going to get worse and worse as the NU players feel more emboldened by the non calls," and sure enough it continued, resulting in the intentional foul, which tamped things down just a bit).
There, had to vent.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Dan L. said...

Reading this article, you would think Mason is 7-23 instead of 23-7.  Yes, I agree things have been inconsistent, but they have found ways to win this season.  With all they lost from last season, a new coach and system, and Luke's departure, I didn't think they would be this good this year, and neither did many others, but it's a tribute to hard work, and believing in Coach H's system.  Wishing them the best at VCU, and in the CAA Tourney!  Anything is possible, as we have seen all year!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

Despite what their record is you can't say this team is that impressive to watch. They have eeked out some close games that very easily could have gone the other way.  They are capable of being beaten by anyone and that's not something we thought for a second with last year's team. Of course anything is possible but all I'm saying is I'm not too confident in this group winning three in a row in Richmond.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous CommonLink87 said...

I agree the black jerseys have to go. Solid gold or solid green away jerseys are the only way to go. While watching the game, what is up with Allen's turnovers? He dribbles into the trees and fumbles at his feet, or pulls the same dribble into the key with no where to go and passes into a lane that just isn't there. I hope to god they practice protecting the ball this year at the 1 spot because this could be an Achilles heel for this team in the following seasons with a lack of veteran at the 1. My hope is this loss will sting enough to pull out a W Fri night in Richmond and beyond. side note - anyone see the little kids on the sideline doing the Bernie, they don't even have stadium seating for4 the student section...kind of whack

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Commonlink87 said...

I agree this has been a good season far exceeding mine and most's expectations for Hewitt and the program after the death blow this off-season, and I think within the next 2-3 years things could get much, much better (especially if we toss Towson out of the CAA I mean seriously). But is always in the back of my mind when I watch these games is how would we look against a ranked opponent. At this point? Very, very ugly at times and respectable at others. I mean the needless TOs jsut have to stop, and there are occasionally stretches where we are just completely ineffective in the paint. Not to mention the occasional lapses when handling the press and our defensive lapses on the perimeter. I think we are just critiquing on here because that's what fans do, and it's easier to talk about the bad than it is the good, so kudos to you for that. But going back, I do agree this has been a very good if not great season all things considered, and it's just been fun to be along for the ride.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous overrated14 said...

Very few bloggers gave Mason a chance.  Fortunately, I was not one of the many doubters.  Luke and Larranaga's departure only made this team's offense more fluid.  Granted, they played the entire regular season the same way- consistently inconsistent yet continued to win.  While other teams were getting better, the Mason team remained the same though individual play improved.  I am not surprised by the loss or their record.  Let's face it-the CAA conference this season has been mediocre at best. 

 Would love for Ryan, Mike, and Andre go out as CAA Champions!  Go Mason!!

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Brandon Smith (@SigmaNorm) said...

I think the issue with the black jerseys is that the guys sometimes seem to be more interested in looking good than playing good. Trying to make the highlight steal or really tight pass (sometimes no look) seemed to be the mantra last night. Style over substance. This team is much better than that. Hopefully this will spark them to buckle down for the VCU game and the tournament!

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

Perhaps the CAA is down this year but I do think VCU and Drexel may go. Of course I would love for us to win it. When I say perhaps, there are very good freshmen on several teams so the future is very bright and if there is a down it was early plus the league really did not have a star attraction like Maynor or Berea. Lets face it for so many years this league would get one in and despite some one game wins it was not looked at like several other conferences. Now that we have had 3 in last year and 2 final 4 shots we have created a very high expectation. Still think whomever represents us will be a tough out in the first game.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

The thing that sucks is that we're now stuck facing VCU in the conference tournament's semi-finals no matter what happens - both teams are in the 2/3 spot. If we could have risen to 1st or dropped to 4th, we would have avoided them until the championship. Playing VCU in the semis, in Richmond, is almost unwinnable.


1:53 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

Yeah, I had my eye on that also, thus the additional sting to the NU loss.  It seems to me there is a 2nd tier bloc of Delaware, NU and Ga State in the standings/seedings, and we'll have to face one of them on Friday, as will VCU and ODU.  Drexel by contrast gets rewarded for their cake in conference schedule (only 1 game vs. us, VCU and ODU) with the first seed and therefore more cake in the form of a 3rd tier team on Friday.  But at least we'll have a legit chance that VCU could get upset before we face them -- although from this vantage point in the schedule the idea of beating them 3X, twice in their home city, would be awesome.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Why would playing them in the championship be any more winnable?

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

We don't play Friday, we have a bye, it would be Saturday.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Dan L. said...

As a High School Coach, I have been impressed with their will to win games they should have lost.  This team is not as talented as teams Mason has had recently, but they do enjoy playing together.  Mistakes are made, and I agree, at times, I hate watching, but being around this team, there is an attitude where success is on the horizon.  Not sure how they'll do in Richmond, but as I said before, anything can happen!  I'd rather they fix their issues there then do like others have, and play their best ball in the reg. season, then get knocked out of the first round.  We'll see what happens. 

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Moses said...

For the CAA this team has average back court talent (with some youth with potential to be special), above average front court talent, a first year coach with a new system, freshman and sophs at point, and they've done quite well considering all of that. While it's not been pretty, Hewitt has done a nice job getting them this far. Coach L, John Wooden and/or Jesus himself could not have done more with this squad.
It was a nothing road game at a tough place to play, end of season, and with a big game coming up on Saturday. They played like crap. It's over. Big deal. They'll refocus for Saturday.Everyone can beat everyone (okay, except Towson) in the CAA this year. 

4:37 PM  
Anonymous commboy said...

With the way Mason is playing and the 2nd tier teams they may be facing, I hope these young men would just focus on the team they need to play next. They don't have the luxury to think otherwise or play what if.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Good said...

I watched the game and think Mason played a decent game. We had shot and scored in most of the trips in the last few minutes. But the officiating officer tried to make sure NE get a chance for the free throw on every trip. NE had no field goal and was kept in the game by free-throws. You just can not touch Lee. Every time, you put a figure on him, you are called. Looking at the number of free-throws he got. Bad officiating,this guy kills the game. 

6:01 PM  
Anonymous HardHead said...

I'll put it this way! If coach L was still the coach do you think Allen would be the point? Hell no but coach H believes in Allen and the problem with that is Allen will never become a serviceable pt guard...period and please don't think Edwards is the answer. 80% of the bloggers on this site don't know a damn thing about basketball and it appears neither does coach H....what the hell was Gray doing on the bench down the stretch? This kid plays D and can get buckets and from what I've seen lately from Gray is that when he's out on the floor with Wright(Allen azz on the bench) the team is productive. Pearson! If you don't start playing smarter and stop worrying who is going to win the CAA can rest assure your last few games will end on a bad note. Coach H do your home work because VV and Allen is not the future back court and AC....all I can say is what a wasted senior year(only if coach L didn't leave). Those that follow the game seriously knows that coach H isn't a good x's n o's coach and it has been obvious this.....note: every team we played this year(even Towson) was in the game and at no time did we kick azz consistently and I blame that on a head coach with a big ego and a coaching staff that just appear to be YES MEN. All I can say is put that sorry starting back court(VV,Allen and AC) on the court against VCU this Saturday and we will lose by 15pts. Somebody need to wake-up the Admiral(coach h) and tell him the damn ship is starting to give Mike Moo more touches...would you please. The damn game isn't hard...just make smart passes(bounce pass Allen) and hit the open smart. GM can win the CAA tourney if coach h shows that he can coach and stop rotating the damn players that are getting it done on the floor.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Jd2913 said...

 This post is laughable... if you know so much why do they pay coach the big bucks while you post on a message board?

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Patriot74 said...

He thinks nobody else here knows squat about BB. Let him have his two cents, thats all his opinion is worth anyways. Besides I find these so called "fans" a joke. They only post on here after the team loses a stinker. I know we've had some bad losses this year but as JD said Coach H did a better job then expected.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Gio said...

Sherrod Wright getting to foul trouble early on really hurt the team. He was slashing and dashing on a couple of occasions before he had to sit. Too bad it wasn't him taking that shot in the end to win it. Could've been the hero again. C'mon Patriots!! Beat VCU!

10:39 PM  
Anonymous overrated14 said...

You just like to get us all worked up.  If only Coach L.....Please!!!  Granted, this team did not do anything noteworthy (i.e. 16 game winning streak,CAA Title) but they have played as a team with a 10-man rotation.  At least next year, the sophs will not play like freshmen and the juniors will not play like sophs(The Larranaga way)  They are getting experience and will be that much better next year..

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Wow there were 6 posts here the first time I checked and now 31!  Seems silly to assume people do/do not have BB experience-how would anyone know?  Gaurd play has been shaky all year, Allen has had some great nights and some awful ones.  Edwards has not been reliable enough to take over.  So as far as the "Coach L wouldn't have played Allen"  I'm not sure who you think he would have played bc all but Copes were his players!  And Hancock was not a great dribbler. 

The team has not dominated and has exceeded expectations for some but when they are good they should dominate and that's what leaves fans frustrated.  Smith was shredding us and we didn't adjust, running the clock down to 6 seconds-which Hewitt was signaling for-made no sense because there was no movement so Allen's guy just had to stay in front, a little movement should have opened up a shooter. 

I hope we can clean up our passing and win out-Good luck to the team!

8:35 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

It was a tough loss to watch; these guys are better than NE.  Also, it really closes the door at the outside chance of an at large bid based on high number wins and strong finish down the stretch (pay no attention to the SOS and RPI behind the curtain).  While we know they could win the CAA, the reality is GMU has won just one CAA tournament in the last 10 seasons.  I think that is where the frustration is coming from.

That said, I agree 100% with your assessment.  These guys have worked hard all year and while many wins were closer than we liked, there were still wins.  I will be rooting for them big time on Saturday and next week.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

If VCU wins the CAA final over Drexel I could see two bids.  I am not sure VCU could get an at large.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Charlie T said...

I admit I thought about a reply but then this is what this site does. It gives everyone a chance to voice are rather write their thoughts. Having said that I really only have a small problem with 2 things. One Coach L last I checked is gone and at some point what he would do will no longer be an item. The other is your 80-20 rule or comment. It goes hand in hand with my favorite quote "Two people looked beyond the bars ,one saw mud the other stars". When I say that most of us if not all pay to see these games for whatever entertainment value and so far I have not taken a quiz on my level of undersatnding. Say what you want about what you think you see on the court but we all see things in are own manner and that is 100 percent

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Inexplicably, and this may not make sense, I think we have a better chance in the championship than we would in the semis against VCU. With that much pressure, I like our senior-led squad. But Ramjank is right - those 2nd tier teams are all good, and this is going to be a pressure-packed tournament for everyone.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

Yeah, I think those closing possessions in the 2d half and in OT irked us all.  It was not exactly Allen's night (though he did manage a lot of assists), so why put the ball in his hands to try and penetrate with the clock bearing down on him?  I still have confidence that both he and Edwards will blossom.  They show it in spurts.  Allen was a gem driving the lane until opposing teams picked up on it; now he needs to learn when to penetrate and when not to, and how to make them pay when they collapse on him.

11:25 AM  

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