The George Mason Patriots certainly didn’t waste any time giving their fans some thrills at the Patriot Center in Fairfax. It took an overtime session against the Rhode Island Rams for Mason to secure their first win of the season, a narrow two point victory in an offensive 92-90 shootout.
The Patriots and Rams were even all night, tied at both the end of the first half and the end of regulation. Ryan Pearson, Mason’s senior leader, was dynamite all night shooting 50% from the field for a team-leading 28 points. After a sluggish first half, he lit up in the second to keep Mason in the game. In addition to Pearson, the Patriots had three others in double figures, with Sherrod Wright and Vertrail Vauhgns chipping in with 17 a piece, and senior Mike Morrison adding 11 on just seven shots.
Mason’s defense was certainly a weak spot on Friday night, particularly at the guard spots. Rhode Island’s Jamal Wilson carved up Mason’s guards for 38 points. Paul Hewitt prefers an uptempo style with lots of scoring, but Mason’s defense will need to be shored up.
The Rams, however, are not a cupcake and a win is a win. It was an electric way to start the season. The Patriots will next host FIU and Isiah Thomas on Monday night.