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George Mason falls in game one of the CBI championship at Santa Clara

George Mason Basketball: George Mason falls in game one of the CBI championship at Santa Clara

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

George Mason falls in game one of the CBI championship at Santa Clara

George Mason lost game one last night of the CBI championship against Santa Clara 81-73. Sherrod Wright struggled mightily going 0-for-6 from the field and scoring only three points in 30 minutes of playing time. Overall it was a sloppy game on both sides and Mason couldn't take advantage of their opponents turnovers like they had been doing in other CBI games. The Broncos efficient offense build a strong first half lead and the Patriots struggled to close the gap. Jonathan Arledge (21 points) had another great night on offense but he didn't get much help until it was too late. Patrick Holloway provided a huge spark in the second half when Mason cut the lead to three. During an 11-2 Mason run Holloway scored 10 consecutive points but they couldn't slow down Santa Clara's offense enough to regain the lead. It looked like the Broncos were going to coast to victory on their three-point shooting alone but that wasn't the big issue on defense for Mason. The Broncos were able to go 21-for-25 from the free-throw line in the second half due to Mason's sloppy defense. It was too much to overcome given how poorly Mason was shooting the ball.

The Patriots just didn't seem ready for this one, for whatever reason. Shots weren't falling and they mishandled countless passes that resulted in turnovers. The fast-breaking team that was getting points off turnovers early in games didn't show up in Santa Clara and their star player was nearly invisible. Defensively they couldn't stop any of the Broncos big runs. Kevin Foster was open far too often and on top of that they had three others with 10 or more points to worry about.

Mason has a chance to regroup now and try to get a win at home the RAC Wednesday night to force game three at the Patriot Center. The intensity and noise of playing in the small confines of the RAC could be an advantage for Mason. Defense will be have to be the key for them though, in order to stay alive in this championship. What we saw last night isn't going to cut it and they will need more effort trying to slow down the Bronco's efficient offense. The perimeter defense wasn't horrible but will need to be better. They aren't going to shut down guys like Kevin Foster or Marc Trasolini but they can limit the amount of wide open looks they get.

Sherrod Wright will likely bounce back in Fairfax, unless that lingering foot injury is a problem again. It's been rare to see Mason's offense running well when he is limited and they will have a hard time winning Wednesday with him scoring only three points. Santa Clara is the best team in the CBI field this year but Mason had been playing better defense up until this point and



Anonymous Doug Economou said...

The next two games are at the Pat Dome so hopefully we'll bounce back. We haven't have much home-court advantage this season though.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Matt_LC said...

It wasn't a great game but they could have muscled in if they had more than just Holloway scoring in the second half. I don't understand what there weren't any specific sets run to get Sherrod going. He stayed outside and rarely drove in, I never felt like they adjusted to try and get him going. Lots of dumb turnovers, many off really short passes, others off dumb long passes. Marco continues to have some really dumb plays. I think we'll learn a little more about our coaching staff as they now have a day to adjust to what didn't go well. The team did well against Trasolini early hopefully we can push this out to Friday and end with two more wins.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

Expected a loss in this game. Road game, west coast flight, not surprised.

Would have helped if Corey and Sherrod had made the flight to California.

Sherrod didn't play all that well against Western Michigan, we won, so no one noticed.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Rick Jank said...

Agree that it will be interesting to watch how this game might be different from a coaching (or lack thereof) standpoint. Arledge when he is good is a little like Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk, who gave the Broncos fits this year. But Arledge and Copes both miss too many of those bunny shots. Seems like Arledge doesn't do well with contact (and the refs were "letting them play" for the most part on Monday), and Copes goes too fast or lunges too much at the hoop when shooting, I guess to avoid the block.
As for Sherrod, maybe part of it is the injury, but I have to wonder if part of the game plan for this tourney was to let him be more of a decoy and let Allen and Edwards (and Holloway) take more of a lead role. Allen has certainly been the guy to drive the lane. Face it, we need these two guys to step up next year, and I am actually getting a little more optimistic about their abilities.

This tourney so far has been good for the team.

11:35 AM  

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