- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Mason can’t come back from 32-4 deficit in CAA semifinals
Question of the Day
RICHMOND — There’s not much George Mason would like to have back from its basketball seasons.
Nine minutes Sunday might be the exception.
The third-seeded Patriots’ hopes of a return trip to the NCAA tournament were dashed with a 74-64 loss to second-seeded Virginia Commonwealth in the CAA semifinals at Richmond Coliseum, a score not remotely capable of reflecting the stunning disparity between the afternoon’s early stages and its conclusion.
VCU scored the game’s first 22 points, made its first eight 3-pointers and held a 32-4 edge before sputtering and permitting Mason to pull to six late in the second half.
“We weren’t ready at the start,” coach Paul Hewitt said. “That falls on me. When they started hitting those threes, we should have started making some adjustments earlier.”
Really, though, who would have been ready for the Rams’ blitz?
By the time the Patriots took their second shot, VCU already led 9-0.
“Just being aggressive offensively and defensively taking them out of their sets,” VCU guard Bradford Burgess (20 points) said. “We got them into turnovers in the beginning and we just took advantage of it.”
Mason finished with 17 turnovers, including a dozen in the first half. The Rams held a 17-0 scoring edge off turnovers in the first half.
“We feel like if we don’t have live ball turnovers, we’re a great defensive team,” Hewitt said. “It’s tough to defend a live-ball turnover. It really hurts you giving up those easy baskets.”
Yet those adjustments did come, and a curious thing happened. The Patriots, who looked utterly out of sorts by the time Burgess hit his third 3-pointer to make it 12-0, slowly created a chance to salvage something from a potential debacle.
The deficit was 16 points at halftime. It hovered around 10 for a chunk of the second half. And when Mike Morrison (20 points, 11 rebounds) made two free throws with 3:17 remaining, the Patriots trailed 64-58.
It was, clearly, just a bit too much to ask of Mason, especially with conference player of the year Ryan Pearson struggling to a six-point day. The Patriots missed a tip-in and 3-pointers from Vertrail Vaughns and Jonathan Arledge to create an even tighter game before VCU finished things off at the foul line.
“We kept fighting,” Morrison said. “We knew we just had to chip away and chip away. The young guys, the older guys, we all fought and we all believed. At no point in the game did we feel we couldn’t come back. Give everybody credit on that. We stuck together all the way to the end.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow