BY NATALIE HEAVREN SPORTS EDITOR
In their first game back from the Cayman Islands, the Patriots narrowly defeated the Gamecocks 67-60.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Kier is back
In Justin Kier’s first home game back from an injury, he had eight points, three rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes.
His presence not only adds depth but also senior leadership and versatility to the lineup.
Having him back will be invaluable to the team this season.
Lackluster first half
Mason had just 28 points on 10 of 28 shooting, with 22 rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers.
Jacksonville State is not one of the better teams Mason has faced this season, and the shooting and turnover statistics would not have put them at a one-point halftime disadvantage against most other teams.
The first half sets the tone for the rest of the game, making it a critical 20 minutes.
A win is a win no matter how it happens
Tuesday’s win was not pretty, but not every win needs to be pretty.
Head coach Dave Paulsen opened up his press conference by saying, “We’re relieved to get out of here with a win. I’ve told our guys, in my 26 years of coaching I’ve had a lot of teams play this kind of game and lose that game, you know, that look like you’re stuck in the mud, and so that’s a good sign.”
The Patriots do not necessarily need to win pretty every night, but winning ugly cannot become a regular occurrence.
Mason continues their homestand on Dec. 7 when they take on American.