GW Drops Another Game, 66-53 Against Rival George Mason

Image Credit: Greg Fiume

By: Abe Rothstein

Coming off another tough loss that left them on the losing end of three of their previous four conference tilts, the George Mason Patriots stormed into the capital looking to find revenge from round one of the revolutionary rivalry where GW took down Mason at EagleBank Arena. Yesterday, Kim English and company adjusted to take down the Buff and Blue 66-53.

From the opening tip, the game was originally stagnant and low-scoring, leaving GW with a 10-4 early lead. Following that stretch, George Mason would strike and not look back the rest of the game. 

Star forward Josh Oduro looked every bit as advertised for George Mason, as he continuously dominated the paint, both exploiting man-to-man defense as well as a 3-2 zone that Coach Chris Caputo had attempted to run in order to stymie the high pick and roll of George Mason. 

At the end of the day, any adjustment did not pay off, as Oduro made several contested midrange shots to help keep the game out of reach for GW. The adjustments from the previous game were evident, but good players can outplay the best defense. 

“He [Oduro] didn’t score really in the post area or in the elbow area like he did in the first game. It was more in the zone,” Caputo said following the loss. “He winds up in the mid-post in the zone, and those shots are tough shots… that’s why he’s a really good player.”

On the offensive side of the ball for GW, James Bishop was the only player to make a mark on offense, scoring 23 points on 9-19 shooting and only registering one assist. The previous team drought has left almost no player untouchable, as Bishop was the only GW player with double-digit scoring. 

The Buff and Blue were held to their lowest-scoring game of the season in an overall lackluster effort. 

Amidst the struggles, GW would find themselves taking a one-point lead in the middle of the second half, easily outplaying the poor first half following some adjustments from Caputo after George Mason’s effective pick-and-roll defense. 

“We’re going to have to find some ways to get the ball towards the rim even if they’re playing us two on two. We’re probably not going to drive and kick… they did a good job staying in the lane,” said Caputo.

Though shortly after, Oduro, a freshman, broke out in big ways. Justin Fernandez, a highly touted freshman recruit, had struggled to find his footing in Atlantic 10 conference play. Today, he showed why he had a four-star rating next to his name on 247 Sports, scoring 15 points on 5-7 shooting from deep. Late in the second half, GW, attempting to shut down the bigger Oduro in a 3-2 zone defense, the corners were open due to the rotation of the zone defense. Fernandez, who had scored only five points in his previous three games, was money. Putting the dagger into the hearts of the GW faithful. 

Fatigue clearly has hit the team, and  Caputo plans to give the team a full off day prior to ramping up practices before the trip to western New York to take on Saint Bonaventure. While he might be new to the conference, it won’t be Coach’s first time against the Bonnies, where he says he won by 39 the last time one of his teams played. The team will be flying into Buffalo, followed by a bus to Olean in cold western New York. 

The next game for GW will be on Sunday as they take on Saint Bonaventure. That game will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and WRGW. 

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