George Mason Post Players Dominate Inside as Hot-Shooting Patriots Down Blue Hens, 89-63
January 21, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Ryan Pearson posted a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds while fellow forward Mike Morrison added 17 points and seven boards as the George Mason men's basketball team cruised to an 89-63 victory over the University of Delaware Wednesday night at the Patriot Center.
Byron Allen was the third Patriot in double figures with 12 points, as league-leading Mason won its second straight game and seventh in its last eight while improving to 14-5 overall and 6-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Pearson, the third leading scorer in the CAA at 17.4 points per game, went 7 of 14 from the field and 9 of 12 from the free throw line to post his seventh double-double of the season.
Mason shot 54.4 percent from the field, hitting 31 of its 57 field goal attempts, to become the first team to shoot over 50 percent this season against a Blue Hen team that entered the game ranked 24th in Division I in field goal percentage defense. The Patriots, the CAA’s top-scoring squad by averaging 70.5 points per game, also held a commanding 52-30 advantage in points in the paint.
The Patriots, who improved to 8-1 at home this season, defeated Delaware for the fifth straight meeting overall and for the 10th consecutive time in the Patriot Center.
Delaware, which fell to 7-10 overall and 3-4 in the conference, dropped its third consecutive contest since opening 3-1 in league action. Sophomore guard Devon Saddler (at right) led the Blue Hens with 21 points, surpassing the 20-point mark for the seventh time this season.
Junior forward Josh Brinkley reached double figures for the fourth straight game as he added 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field, while classmate Jamelle Hagins contributed 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman Jarvis Threatt posted team-highs of seven rebounds and four assists for the Blue Hens, who shot just 36.7 percent from the field, including 3 of 16 from three-point range.
“We had some plays that we didn’t finish early, and it kind of snowballed on us from there,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross. “I’m most disturbed by our defensive effort tonight. We were not sharp on the defensive end of the floor, which was evident by the point total George Mason put up.”
Mason jumped out to an early 10-2 lead three and a half minutes into the game, and after Saddler answered with a jumper, the Patriots scored the next six points to take a 16-4 advantage and force Delaware’s second time out at the 14:49 mark.
The Blue Hens would respond, pulling within 20-16 on a Saddler three-pointer with 11:20 on the clock. Mason scored seven straight points to go back up double digits on an alley oop dunk by Morrison, but Delaware countered with a 7-0 spurt of its own, capped by a Kyle Anderson three-pointer, to make it a 27-23 game with six and a half minutes to play.
However the Patriots scored six consecutive points, and following a three-point play by Saddler, added six more to take a 39-26 advantage on a Morrison basket at the 3:49 mark. The Blue Hens pulled within 10 following a Khalid Lewis jumper, but a basket by Morrison and a three-pointer just before the buzzer by Allen gave the Patriots a 46-31 halftime lead.
Mason shot a blistering 56.3 percent from the field in the first half, going 18 of 32 from the field, while the Blue Hens connected on just 38.7 percent by connecting on 12 of 31 field goal attempts.
Delaware opened the second half with an early 8-4 spurt, closing within 50-38 and forcing a Mason time out with 17:27 remaining. The break did not slow down the Blue Hens, however, as Lewis scored inside and Hagins converted a slam dunk to make it a 51-42 game with 16:10 on the clock.
However Vaughn Gray answered with a three-pointer for Mason, while an 8-0 Patriots run four minutes later gave GMU a 66-46 cushion with 11:06 to play. The Patriots eventually led by as many as 29 points late in the game, and held a 20-point cushion over the final 7:44 of action.
The Blue Hens will look to snap their three-game losing streak on Saturday when then return home to host Georgia State at 2 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.
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