I love basketball and especially when it’s a back and forth battle. Really that’s exactly what the Mason vs. Fairfield game was: fun to watch. The Pulse Journal reporter, Scott Hayes, and myself were waiting by the locker room after the game and all we could talk about was how good the game was, like I said, it was fun to watch.
Even though it was fun to watch, there were some issues with both teams. It was a fantastic start by the Comets, a 16-2 run and really it was just the pace which was so fast. JD Sprague hit a three to start off the game and after that the next five or six shots, Mason didn’t miss. I guess that’s one thing to say, this team has a hard time keeping a lead because after that nice run by Mason, Fairfield woke up and came to play. Head Coach Greg Richards said after the game that “that is becoming a pattern, not a very good one.”
Fairfield started to put a little more pressure and it definitely affected the Comets a little, I mean going into the game they were averaging 15 TO’s a game and against the Indians they had 17. But something that is different than last year is that Mason is also pressuring and forcing their opponents to commit turnovers, Fairfield had 16. They have stepped up on the defensive side of the ball, not to say that’s not their goal every year, but it is that pressure they are putting on teams. So if you think about it, really both of those factors even out.
The one factor that really made this game so premier was how good these teams shot. Both teams shot over 50% from the floor (Mason-20/37 and Fairfield-20/39) and the amazing stat was both teams’ second half scoring percentage, Fairfield and Mason shot over 60%. When you look at those stats, they are almost identical and really that was the other thing about this game, both teams are so evenly matched, Richards absolutely agreed.
Fairfield is a good team, they were 5-0 coming in, and you can say they have played a little lesser competition, but even Richards said that they are one of the most talented team in GMC.
“Middletown has a few studs but overall, I think Fairfield has just as much talent as Middletown, Fairfield is a very good basketball team,” Richards said.
Really having to evenly matched teams makes the game so much better than watching a blow out or a “Big Ten” style of game. These two teams really put on a show and Mason deserved to win the game.
NOS’ Angle: I think going forward Mason has to keep doing what they’re doing; offensively they have been impressive and even defensively as well. If they can limit turnovers and shoot better from the line, they will probably have an easier time winning because it isn’t like they’re not winning; they have to work super hard to get that win. The only other thing going forward is they are going to have to “share the wealth.” Sprague, Darin Harris and Michael Van Kleunen are the only one’s scoring this year, that’s sarcasm but this isn’t: besides Tim Reale who made two free throws, NO ONE ELSE SCORED. Like Richards said after the game, once injuries start to heal and the guys get some more experience, they should be fine.
Darin Harris: 21 points (9/14 FG, 3/5 FT), 6 rebounds, 6 turnovers
JD Sprague: 17 points (5/9 FG, 2/4 3’s, 5/7 FT), 2 assists
Michael Van Kleunen: 14 points (6/10 FG, 2/4 FT) 5 rebounds
Brandon Murphy: 15 points (6/12 FG, 3/5 FT), 6 rebounds, 6 turnovers
Jeff Woods: 9 points (4/5 FG, 1/2 3’s) 3 turnovers
Devon Barlow: 8 points (3/8 FG, 2/5 3’s), 6 steals