"It's All About The Game"
Mason pummels Raiders
Ron Bailey, Publisher
The Patriots clicked on Saturday.
November 30, 2015 - When Wright State took the court at George Mason's EagleBank Arena Saturday evening, the Raiders had hopes of defeating the Patriots, thereby staking a claim for Horizon League bragging rights over the vaunted Atlantic 10. Another win would obviously also buttress Billy Donlon's team.
Neither occurred, as Wright State lost in dramatic fashion 66-39, a final tally that included their 32-10 halftime deficit.
Otis Livingston, Jr. and George Mason repeatedly attempted to get the ball inside.
Yes, it was one of those days. In this case stats don't lie: Mason shot 46.2%, overall, 36.4% from three point land, versus Wright State's 23.1% (2-26 or 7.7% in the first stanza) and 35%, respectively. The Patriots outrebounded Wright State 43-31, doubled them in assists (14-7), swatted away four to one shots, while swiping the ball four times with the visitors getting none.
Interestingly enough only two Patriots scored in double figures - freshman guard Otis Livingston's game high 14 points and the 12 supplied by Marquise Moore, a junior guard. Ten Mason players scored in the contest, one in which twelve players saw at least three minutes.
Their coach, Dave Paulsen, found his squad's unselfish ethos a good thing, one that he noted afterward stemmed from them being more attentive in film study and practice on Friday, work following Wednesday's two point road loss at Manhattan.
Saturday "We played much more connected" than the Jasper setback he said. "We moved the ball, we took care of the ball. And what I told our guys, there was nobody who played an unbelievably spectacular game, for us.
"We played together, everybody did their part. When we got up big I didn't see any signs of selfishness or guys trying to go get their own points".
As he put it, "We tell our guys play against the game, not against the opposition", meaning focus on winning each quarter's four minute or so periods bounded by TV timeouts. Mason almost did that perfectly, losing the first "round" by one, yet prevailing in each of the seven afterward.
One Patriot whose offense was key, senior guard Pat Holloway, played in his first game this season after being sidelined the previous six due to suspension. Holloway scored eight points, including a pair of back-to-back three pointers which drove his team's lead to 17-9. Mason would never look back, then going on a 15-1, period ending run.
During Holloway's personal mini-spree, Wright State went zone, countered by Paulsen going "four out one in", which "got their zone distorted and got Patrick a couple of open looks" shared the coach.
What was Livingstone's take on having Holloway available?
"It helps a lot" he answered. "He's a great shooter. He's also a senior, so that helps a lot too". Personally "It helps me a lot because I'm a point guard and I like to pass the ball a lot and he's a great shooter so it makes my job easier".
Summing, Paulsen, in his first year at Mason's helm, labeled the win "real gratifying", yet stressed the Pats must return to Friday's practice habits, thereby increasing his team's chances to win at Towson this Wednesday. Tip-off for that contest is set for 7p. The Patriots are now 3-4 on the year.
Wright State (2-4), was led in scoring by sophomore guard
Grant Benzinger's 11 points. The Raiders next host Albion, Tuesday at
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