Patriots fail in final seconds, Minutemen win 88-87

Posted In News - By Chris Metsala On Thursday, January 16th, 2014 With 1 Comment


The Minutemen went down to Fairfax, VA, tonight and knocked off George Mason, 88-87, in a thrilling, come-from-behind win.

UMass was trailing for much of the second half, but Chaz Williams made every play in the final minute, leading UMass back from five down with 41.3 seconds left. He forced a turnover with 10 seconds left, missing a layup that was put back in by Derrick Gordon to give UMass the win. All told, Mason turned the ball over three times in the last 30 seconds of the game. That’s not how you will close out upsets over top 25 teams.

via Thrilling comeback from No. 16 UMass erases another subpar performance | CollegeBasketballTalk.

“It’s not encouraging. We’re a good team. We’ve got to play better. These guys know,” a frustrated Hewitt said after George Mason dropped to 2-6 in games decided by five points or less this year.

“I tell them all the time, ‘It’s disappointing to be 7-10. We shouldn’t be 7-10. We’re a better team than this.’ There’s nothing encouraging about this night. Nothing.”

via No. 16 Massachusetts 88, George Mason 87: Patriots lose a heartbreaker – The Washington Post.

“We got a little lucky there at the end,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “A couple balls bounced our way and our guys made some big plays. I think they locked in like they have all year, and we came away with a big road victory.

“I told the refs at the end that we were actually not trying to foul, that’s not what we do. I thought that they just let us play through.”

via Williams helps No. 16 UMass edge George Mason – The Washington Post.

The Minutemen’s pressure didn’t necessarily frustrate the Patriots throughout the game as much as it did in the game’s final seconds, but Kellogg’s pressure defense isn’t meant to force turnovers as much as, say VCU’s. It’s more about dictating tempo of the game in their favor. Mason looked panicked on its home floor. That wasn’t an accident. And that’s how Massachusetts is 15-1.

WHAT THIS MEANS IN A NUTSHELL: The Minutemen narrowly dodged the résumé stain they surely wanted to avoid — a loss against a bottom-feeder Atlantic 10 team that only would have raised more eyebrows because of a lack of road tests in the non-conference slate. For a George Mason team trying to make a dent in its first year in a new league, this is a big letdown. A win was a possession away and would have been a huge confidence boost. Paul Hewitt can coach, but the Patriots might take some time adjusting in the A-10.

via 4-point play: Instant analysis on UMass-George Mason.

About - Chris Metsala is a George Mason alumnus and was one of the founders of the original masonhoops.com site in 1998, which later became CAAZone.com. Chris has attended almost every home game and CAA Tournament from the Ernie Nestor years to present, and covered the team during the 2006 Final Four run. He currently lives in Northern Virginia.

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  1. […] Game stats came from UMass Ath­let­ics. You can also check out the Mason per­spec­tive over on MasonHoops.com. […]

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