- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The prevailing theme of George Mason’s 89-63 bludgeoning of Delaware on Wednesday night was perhaps the Patriots’ efficient offense.

Or maybe it was the Blue Hens’ porous defense.


Probably, it was a combination of the two.

Mason (14-5, 6-1) remained in a share of the CAA lead with Old Dominion in an appropriate manner, dominating the paint against the woefully undisciplined Blue Hens (7-10, 3-4).

Ryan Pearson scored 24 points and Mike Morrison added 17 for the Patriots, who scored 52 points in the paint.

More revealing was Mason’s meager turnover total of eight, a number even coach Paul Hewitt couldn’t explain.

“If you know, tell me please,” Hewitt said. “I have no idea. We were cleaner. We were more efficient at times. We make some plays sometimes that I just scratch my head.”

There were few such instances of that on offense. But it is fascinating that for as well as Mason handled the ball while shooting 54.4 percent, it only had 13 assists on 31 baskets.

That means Delaware was more than a little culpable for the Patriots reaching 89 points for the second straight game. Mason had 15 points on the fast break and 26 off turnovers, and it was not uncommon to see a Patriot breezing to the basket for a layup.

But Mason warrants credit for making its transition game work especially well.

“We practice running and we want to be a running team and we want to be a high-scoring team,” Pearson said. “The way to get more possessions in a game is to get easy baskets. The easiest baskets you can get are uncontested layups.”

It turned out there were plenty of those to be had on Wednesday.

Six other thoughts from Mason’s latest victory over a second-division conference foe …

* Handling business. Perhaps the most welcome sign Wednesday was how efficiently the Patriots dispatched Delaware.

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