Second half shooting lifts Northeastern to 84-74 victory over Mason in CAA opener
The offensive efficiency from the Northeastern University Huskies in the second half, along with the defensive letdown from the George Mason University Patriots contributed to a 84-74 victory for the Huskies Thursday night at the Patriot Center in both teams first Colonial Athletic Association action of the season.
Jonathan Lee led the way for the Huskies (6-7, 1-0) scoring a game-high 20 points while shooting a phenomenal 62 percent from the field.
"We made shots," said Northeastern coach Bill Coen. "We were fortunate enough to make shots in the second half."
For the majority of the season, Mason's offense has run through junior guard Sherrod Wright who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. However, after an efficient first half shooting 60 percent, Wright sputtered in the second half shooting 36 percent as the Huskies increased their defensive pressure on him.
When Wright struggles, the entire Mason offense sputters. But, the most detrimental aspect for the Patriots was their poor second half defense.
Mason allowed the Huskies to score seemingly at will, who scored 54 of their 84 points in the second half alone. In the second half, Northeastern shot 64.3 percent from the field and 67 percent from the three-point line. The 84 points the Patriots gave up were the second-most in the Paul Hewitt era to last year's 85-
"One thing we've been able to do all year was defend at a pretty respectable level, but the second half they had their way offensively," said Mason coach Paul Hewitt.
The loss is the second straight home loss for Mason, who have been virtually unbeatable at home over the past few seasons.
"If you're going to beat [Mason] in this building, you're going to have to have a shooting night like we had tonight," said Coen.
The Patriots will head to the Williamsburg to take on the William & Mary Tribe on Saturday Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on radio with the George Mason Digital Network.