Looking for a season sweep of cross-town conference rival George Mason (15-12/7-7), the George Washington (12-14/6-7), couldn't summon up enough scoring or stops in the second half to take down the Patriots, ultimately falling 66-53. George Washington struggled with George Mason's ferocious defense, shooting nine percent (1-11) from 3-point range, while being held to six assists....total. To put things further in perspective, Brendan Adams, who came into the game second in the A-10 in 3-point shooting percentage, converting a little over 40 percent from deep, shot 0-5 from three point land while James Bishop, who came into the contest third in the A-10 in assists with 5.2 helpers a game, finished with one assist. It was very uncharacteristic of GW's lethal backcourt, although, the Patriots defense had a LOT to do with Adams and Bishop being out of character.
James Bishop led the way for the Colonials with a game high 23 points while Brendan Adams added 9 points and 5 rebounds and Ricky Lindo Jr contributed 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Josh Oduro, who was outstanding down the stretch for George Mason, led the Patriots with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals on 9-14 shooting from the field. Talented freshman Justyn Fernandez added 15 points on 5-7 shooting from deep and junior guard Ronald Polite III posted 12 points and 5 rebounds.
The Colonials will hit the road to face St. Bonaventure this upcoming Sunday at 2 p.m.
scored the ball well with George Mason throwing multiple defenders, traps and schemes at him to slow him down. He shot 9-19 from the field and it was impressive at times at how he found ways to score with 2-3 defenders, who often times were bigger, longer and more athletic, hanging on to his every move. He did his best to try to carry the Colonials offensively, especially with Patriot defenders sitting on his strong hand all game long. Bishop didn't settle for tough 3-pointers that's always there to be taken, he did a good job of blending his approach. One possession he would force the issue by attacking the basket, the next possession, he would take a mid-range jumper when he got into the gaps of George Mason's defense, due to that shot being the best available for him. It was a tough night overall for GW, however, Bishop was there and that's encouraging with the prospects of more teams looking to defend the Colonials in a similar manner as the Patriots did moving forward.
George Mason's Defense:
was suffocating for stretches during their win over GW. In fact, there was a stretch where the Patriots held the Colonials without a field goal for 12:26 of the first half. NOT ONE made field goal from the 16:25 mark to the 3:59 mark for George Washington. The Colonials, who were held to 32 percent shooting in the first half, scored from the free throw line during their cold spell. In the second half, GW found a much better rhythm offensively, however, George Mason may have bent at times, but didn't break defensively. They did an excellent job of sitting on James Bishops left hand to force him right. They met Brendan Adams with multiple defenders when he turned the corner coming off screens and closed out on GW's shooters HARD, leaving no airspace for a comfortable three point attempt. It was clear that the game plan for George Mason was to play Bishop as tough as possible, run shooters off the 3-point line and dare someone else to step up in a way offensively to potentially beat them. No one did, resulting in a season series split.
Josh Oduro/Justyn Fernandez:
came up BIG down the stretch for George Mason during a run that put the Patriots out ahead for good. They were equally efficient on both ends of the floor, executing at an elite level. With the game tied at 42 with 9:02 remaining in the game, Oduro took over the game. Oduro scored 8 points, pulled down 4 rebounds, dished out 2 assists and had a block and steal while not missing a single shot over the last nine minutes of the game. He made sure George Mason wouldn't be denied. Oduro wasn't alone. Promising freshman wing Justyn Fernandez hit big three after big three to kill any potential momentum boost from GW. Fernandez shot 4-4 from deep over the last 7:04 of the game, with two of his 3-pointers coming off assists from Oduro. Thanks to the production of Oduro and Fernandez, GW's deficit went from 2 points to 13 points over the next five minutes and that run decided the game.