Dave Paulsen and the George Mason Patriots gave the Maryland Terrapins all they could handle for most of the first half. Unfortunately, their hot start was not enough as the Terrapins made up for their offensive struggles with great teamwork on the defensive side of the ball to pull away with the victory.
George Mason Patriots put up a good fight against the Maryland Terrapins to begin the game
From behind the arc, the Terrapins made only 4-of-12 of their shots. That is only 29 percent, which has been a constant struggle for the Terps this season. Their inability to convert kept George Mason in the game, allowing them to go on a 9-0 run to take a commanding 20-13 lead.
A key stat to note for the Terrapins was that they were in foul trouble with six with over eight minutes left in the half. That cannot happen moving forward if Mark Turgeon expects his team to contend in the NCAA tournament this season. Fortunately for him, his team did not commit too many penalties afterwards.
The combination of forward AJ Wilson and guard Javon Greene has worked well for the Patriots as expected. Greene was effective from downtown making 2-of-4 of his three-pointers. He continued to be the do-it-all player with eight points, four rebounds, and three assists. Wilson was almost impossible to defend, being very effective on the inside. He went into the half making 4-of-8 of his shots.
Despite the solid effort of the Patriots with a 25-19 lead with 7:26 remaining, the Terrapins' defense stepped up their game. Senior Anthony Cowan willed his team back into the thick of it, tying it all up with a three-point jumper at 5:05.
Jalen Smith was held in check with zero points for the first 16 minutes. He closed out the first half with numbers close to a double-double, with seven points, seven rebounds, and two assists. The team proceeded to go on a 19-2 run, killing any momentum that the Patriots had. The leaders for the Terrapins stepped up when they needed to, allowing their team to pull away with a 43-31 lead.
Second Half & Aftermath
Terrapins' first-half dominance continued on in the second half, where the 11 point deficit for the Patriots was too difficult to overcome. Maryland's leaders Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, and Aaron Wiggins combined for 43 points on the night.
Their rock-solid defense overwhelmed Javon Greene, going 0-5 in three-point attempts after making two in the first half. The only Patriots player that played well for the remainder of the game was AJ Wilson, who finished the night with 19 point and six rebounds. The Terrapins out rebounded the Patriots 51 to 37, further proving that the size of a basketball team does matter.
Despite the lead the Terrapins had, they continued to struggle from behind the arc. They made only 2-of-10 of their three-pointers in the second half and converted an uninspiring 27 percent on the night.
Mark Turgeon and the Terrapins went on to defeat the Patriots 86-63. They have a lot of work to do when it comes to correcting their inaccuracies with their three pointers, in addition to their foul troubles. In spite of it all, Maryland improves their record to 5-0 on the season as they hand the Patriots their first loss on the year. Up next, the Terrapin will head to Philadelphia to face off against the Temple Owls in their first away game of the season.