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George Mason rallies past Drexel

George Mason Basketball: George Mason rallies past Drexel

Friday, February 15, 2013

George Mason rallies past Drexel

The Patriots got an important road win last night at Drexel after being down by eight points. You never know where the bursts on offense are going to come from with this group and last night it happened to be Vertrail Vaughns. He poured on a season-high 14 points and Mason overcame their turnover prone first half to get the win. The Dragons ended up with 22 points off the Patriots 14 turnovers. However Mason rallied back in the second half by scoring 46 points and by getting to the free-throw line. They had only five free-throw attempts in the first half but got to the line for 20 attempts in the second, making 17 of them. Philadelphia native Erik Copes had one of his best games scoring 12 points and grabbing 8 rebounds along with two blocked shots. Sherrod Wright and Jonathan Alredge had a combined 19 points but with four players in double figures it was a good night for the Patriots offense. We even had a Vaughn Gray sighting, who hadn't seen the court since January 27 at Northeastern.

The rotation was again shorter, something I'm glad to see. Anali Okoloji didn't see the floor and Vaughn Gray seemed to get his minutes, hard to argue with that. Offensively he's much better than Okoloji and it's been a mystery why he hasn't played more this season. He was able to make good use of his time last night and scored seven points in 15 minutes. The question it brings up is whether or not this team will ever establish a set rotation before the CAA tournament. At this point it seems to be a game of music chairs between Okoloji, Gray, and Bennett.

The win was important because Mason now has a better shot of getting out of the 4-5 game in the conference tournament and possibly into the 2-3 game. Being on the other side of the bracket and not playing Northeastern til the final is their best bet. A win against Georgia State at this Saturday's homecoming game would put them into third place.

[Photo by John Powell]



Anonymous Andy Minor said...

Can't remember the last time we had a game with 4 people in double figures--good win for the boys and for once it looked like Hewitt actually made adjustments during halftime. I also saw him pretty animated at times over there on the sidelines, not his usual sullen self who doesn't get into the game. VV having a good game always helps too--if he can get back into 6th man form he might be able to give the offense the kick it needs.

Still not getting my hopes up but for once it looked like the team was getting better not worse.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous mkaufman1 said...

agreed, Hewitt went crazy on one of the close shots (Maybe a copes hook?) that went in. It also appears the team is much better on the road/neutral versus at home for some odd reason. Even in the neutral losses they looked good (NM,Maryland) and several key wins have come on the road (Drexel, JMU, Towson).

Really impressed with the progression of Arledge and Copes the last few games. Copes looks much more confident in the post with his footwork and Arledge looks like he is confident. Hewitt was quoted as saying that Copes is finally playing without pain, so perhaps that is a good thing. Also, it was really good to see Vaughn Gray get some minutes over Anali last night, even though he looked confused on defense a few times. Hopefully things are jelling more and more but that could just be my optimism as usual.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Rick Jank said...

A nice Valentines gift for the fans. Hopefully the team doesn't go back to taking us for granted after this. But here are some nice takeaways that I had:
1. On the road no less, it seemed like we were able to impose our will on the opponent. Granted that neither team was really able to get into an offensive rhythm, but in the later portion of the game we seemed more comfortable with the flow of the game.
2. Yes, it seemed like a difficult night for us turnover-wise, but a quick look at the career stats for Allen and Edwards shows their Assist-to-turnover ratios are MUCH improved this year.
3. While we're talking about Edwards, I note that there is not a single game this year that we can say he had a bad night shooting from the 3, but there are plenty of good nights where we might have wished he'd taken some more shots from behind the arc. Add it all up and he's 20 of 32 for a ridiculous 62.5% on the year. I think that's a sufficient number of shots to say it's not just a fluke and that his 3 point stroke has arrived.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

They also made free throws in the clutch. I hope the shorter bench trend continues.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous GMURULES said...

guys you hit it right on the head. I found myself saying, who is this guy, about Copes. He has finally found his hands, horrible hands at time this season and his shot or should I say shots. Bank it in no less. Gray, did he just totally tick off coach at some point. The kid can play. Team hopefully moving in right direction. Not holding my breath.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Andy Minor said...

I wish coach would tell him to shoot more. The kid can shoot but seems way too focused on getting the Assist. Perhaps that's more the Point Guard in him, or maybe they're hounding him to pass-before-shoot in practice, but I don't think we need to hold him to such a short leash. It will only help his assist numbers if teams start doubling him because he'll pull up and take a shot at will.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Justin Edwards said...

why did sherrod only play 22 minutes?

5:38 PM  

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