- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2001

Apparently, a two-week break wasn't long enough for George Mason, because the Patriots decided not to show up last night for their Colonial Athletic Association opener.
Delaware hit seven of 11 3-pointers in the first half and never looked back in a one-sided 83-56 win in their first CAA game before 2,482 at the Patriot Center.
Delaware (4-5, 1-0 CAA) couldn't have dreamed its conference opener would be this easy. It was George Mason's most lopsided loss since the 1997-98 season, when Penn State pummeled the Patriots 85-46 in coach Jim Larranaga's first year.
"We were obviously out of sync right from the very beginning," Larranaga said.
Delaware's 3-pointers ended this one quickly. Blue Hens point guard Austen Rowland, who was sporting two black eyes from a broken nose he suffered a week ago against Rider, led all scorers with 18 points. Rowland, who grew up in Hyattsville, made four of seven 3-pointers.
Rowland was the hottest of Delaware's 3-point bombers but not the only one. Delaware had four other players who made at least one 3-pointer. Coming into the game, the Blue Hens were shooting 36 percent from behind the arc. Last night, however, the Blue Hens made 13 of 25 3s 52 percent.
"We're capable of shooting when we have our feet set and have open looks," said Blue Hens guard Mike Ames, who made three of six 3-pointers and has made at least one in every game this season. "We were able to hit those shots and increase our lead right away."
George Mason (5-3) trailed 43-19 at halftime. That marked the fewest points the Patriots have scored in a half this season. Delaware's 43 points were the most the Patriots have allowed in a half this season.
The Blue Hens, who defected from the America East Conference, crushed the Patriots on the glass 44-22, including 16 offensive rebounds.
"That was a huge part of the game right there because [George Mason] averages double figures on the offensive glass, and we were really concerned about their rebounding capability," said Delaware second-year coach David Henderson, a former Duke standout. "In studying tape, almost every opponent we've studied got at least 12 or 13 offensive rebounds against George Mason, so we felt that was something we needed to exploit."
The slaughter on the glass was perhaps the least of George Mason's problems. When Larranaga said "out-of-sync early," he wasn't joking.
If the Patriots didn't throw the ball into the trombone section, their entry passes resulted in loose balls, which turned into rushed shots. George Mason finished with only nine assists. The Patriots made only 19 of 47 shots. Senior forward Terrance Nixon led the Patriots with 12 points.
Their failure on offense ultimately cost the Patriots on the defensive end as well. The Patriots were unable to deploy their signature fullcourt pressure and therefore couldn't dictate tempo.
CAA commissioner Tom Yeager, who has guided the conference since its inception in 1983, presented Henderson with a commemorative ball in a pregame ceremony to honor Delaware's first CAA game.

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