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George Mason falls to Santa Clara in CBI championship finale

George Mason Basketball: George Mason falls to Santa Clara in CBI championship finale

Saturday, April 06, 2013

George Mason falls to Santa Clara in CBI championship finale

The Patriots lost a hard fought battle to Santa Clara last night in the CBI championship finale. It was a game of runs as each team traded had their moments on offense with George Mason coming up short in the closing moments. The Broncos Kevin Foster (24 points, tournament MVP) and Marc Trasolini (20 points) were too much for the Patriots in this one. Trasolini was dominate early in the second half and got Mason players into foul trouble. Foster did what he did best from behind the arch to put the Patriots away when they tried to make a comeback. Keep in mind that Kevin Foster is one hell of a dominate player was only a handful of three-attempts away from the NCAA career record. Mason still could have had this game but they didn't make the stops on defense when they needed to. The story of the season.

What's truly amazing is how the Patriots dominated the glass, collecting 20 offensive rebounds and turning them into 27 second chance points. That's a recipe for a win most nights but turnovers and fouls doomed them in the second half. Not a surprise given how this season has went for them. They tried everything on defense to try and slow down Kevin Foster but Patrick Holloway and Vertrail Vaughns couldn't keep him in front of them. Paul Hewitt went with his more veteran guys, Paris Bennett and Vaughns as opposed to Holloway and Marko Gujanicic for long stretches in the second half. It was probably the right move as Holloway and Gujanicic were struggling but having two guys that have barely played much this season out there for crucial parts of the game didn't help much either.

Mason's big three heading into next season, Sherrod Wright, Bryon Allen, and Jonathan Arledge didn't have their best game of the tournament but certainly kept them in this one. Bryon Allen's slow start and bad night from the field was a hole they couldn't seem to dig out of. Arledge got two fouls in the first and saw a lot of time on the bench. That left Erik Copes handling the ball a little more than you'd like to see in the post early on. Wright really tried to carry the team on his back and he was impressive. He was getting to the line and hitting outside jumpers. The only problem was Santa Clara seemed to have an answer on the other end to every one of his big plays.

The Patriots didn't fix all their problems in this tournament but they certainly leave us a feeling a bit more confident about next season than after that loss to Northeastern in the CAA tournament.

[Photo by John Powell]



Anonymous Adam Sylvain said...

We would have all liked this win, but as you mentioned from the beginning, we were in this tournament for experience, and by pushing SCU to 3 games we maximized the experience and the playtime we could get in the CBI. We weren't going to throw a parade or put a banner up for being CBI Champions so I'm satisfied seeing us play competitive ball into April. It leaves us in a much better place, I think heading into our first year in the A-10. Also, I can't help but think Holloway missing that three to tie at the end will only make him hungrier to continue to improve this offseason. Already looking forward to next year!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

Mason played good defense, these guys just didn't miss a shot. I felt like I was watching the Georgetown vs Villanova championship from the mod 80s. They definitely stepped up their game, especially their defense in the tournament. I hope they can grow on it next season.

Posting Trasolini posterizes Copes was dick move. Maybe next year he just lets guys go by so he doesn't have to see that from the HOME SITE.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

I bet we would have put a banner up if we had won it.

1:56 PM  

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