Men’s Basketball Making History in More Ways Than One
The George Mason men’s basketball team polished off its first 5-0 homestand in nearly 30 years on Wednesday night and they did it with their fifth-straight double-digit win. The Patriots handled Loyola, 66-52 to improve to 7-2 on the season. Lots of good stat nuggets coming OUT of the win and going INTO the Liberty game on Saturday night.
First off, Mason has now won five straight games by double figures. It’s just the fifth time in school history Mason has done that and the first since 2006-07. The school record for consecutive double-digit wins is six-straight, set near the end of the 1998-99 season. Mason held all five opponents to fewer than 60 points and on the season, in Mason’s seven wins, the Patriots are holding the opposition to just 52.1 points per game. Of course in the Patriots’ two losses, they are allowing an average of 80 points. None of Mason’s five victims shot better than 40 percent with Loyola reaching that mark but not surpassing it.
As everyone knows Cam Long topped the 1,000 career point mark last night becoming the 30th player in school history to reach that plateau. He actually sits in 28th now having passed Keith Michael and Brian Miller. Also moving up the career list was Mike Morrison who picked up his 85th career block moving him into a tie for 10th place with Will Thomas. The junior should become the sixth player in school history with 100 blocks sometime in January and before the year is out will almost certainly be top three in school history in that category.
Now the Patriots head to Liberty and their first road game of the season. The only time Mason has ever played its first road game later than December 11 was in 1996 when the Patriots played their first road contest on December 14, losing at Ohio State.
“We just have to keep working hard in practice and get everyone on the same page,” junior Ryan Pearson told the media after the game on Wednesday. “We would like to play the same way we do at home on the road. We’re not going to have our crowd with us it’s just going to be us out there and we’re going to have to come together as a team and get the job done.”
The Patriots head to Liberty looking for their sixth-straight win. Mason has only won six or more in a row five times under Coach L, most recently winning seven straight January of this calendar year. The Patriots are also looking for an 8-2 start, which would be just the fifth time in school history that the Patriots won at least eight of their first 10 games. The previous times were 1974-75 (8-2), 83-84 (9-1), 03-04 (8-2) and 08-09 (8-2). In 1983-84, Mason began the year 12-1. The other three years Mason won at least eight of its first 10, it was unable to go 9-2.
In case you’re looking down the road, after Liberty is an 11-day break for finals followed by a trip to Duquesne. Then the Patriots take a week off before playing at Dayton. Duquesne is currently 3-3 with wins over Bowling Green, UMBC and Wisconsin-Green Bay and losses to Robert Morris, Pittsburgh and Penn State. Dayton is 7-2 having beaten Mount St. Mary’s, Akron, Mississippi, Savannah State, Florida A&M, Miami (Ohio) and Central Connecticut State while suffering losses to Cincinnati and East Tennessee State. And since it’s never too early to look at the RPI, unofficially Duquesne is 171 while Dayton is 111. Mason is 118.
OK, on to the links to what the media had to say about Mason’s win last night: