The Washington Times - January 5, 2009, 06:00PM

The most striking thing about the first half at Patriot Center is Georgia State’s work around the basket.

Or, more specifically, the Panthers‘ lack of work around the basket.


George Mason holds significant edges in points in the paint (18-4) and off second chances (12-3). The Patriots are also 10-for-18 in their 2-point attempts.

Trouble is, they’re 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. And Georgia State’s Leonard Mendez drilled three 3-pointers in the first five minutes.

So even though this has the feel of a rout, and really felt like a rout for about 10 minutes, the score indicates otherwise.

Given the trends listed above, it’s no surprise Darryl Monroe is playing well. He’s got 10 points and seven rebounds, and Georgia State really hasn’t found a good answer for him other than to foul and watch him miss a couple free throws. Still, he was at 68.2 percent from the foul line coming in, so that probably isn’t a good long-term strategy.

In short, it feels like Mason should pull away and remain unbeaten in CAA play. But the Patriots have given Georgia State a chance, and things could easily be interesting for the rest of the game.

Patrick Stevens