BY NATALIE HEAVREN SPORTS EDITOR
Men’s basketball dropped to 4-11 in conference play and 15-13 overall after a narrow 62-55 loss to No. 4 Dayton.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
AJ Wilson plays well in big games
Some of AJ Wilson’s best games have come against the country’s best teams, against then No. 6/7 Maryland on Nov. 22, 2019 and again on Tuesday night against Dayton.
Against Maryland, Wilson scored 19 points, including his first three of the season, grabbed six rebounds and had three blocks.
Similarly, against Dayton, he had another stellar performance including 18 points, five rebounds and a block.
If Wilson can continue to perform at the highest level against difficult opponents, the team will continue to be successful down the stretch and into the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Defensive rebounds were critical to the team’s performance
As a team Mason allowed Dayton to grab just five offensive rebounds and one second-chance point. By shortening Dayton’s possessions to a single shot, the Patriots were able to get the ball back in their hands without the Flyers scoring.
Preventing second-chance points will be key for the team as they try to end the season on a winning streak.
The team’s record is not indicative of the talent they have
“We had the No. 4 team in the country on the ropes,” said head coach Dave Paulsen. “But no one should be surprised about that — that’s what this group is capable of. Our guys really competed and had a focus level and connectedness defensively. We had that two weeks ago at VCU — the next step for this team is being able to do that consistently.”
The Patriots were within two with 1:18 left in the game and briefly took the lead for moments in the second half. While there are no moral victories in sports, the team can take pride in the fact that they played the fourth-best team in the country. If Mason can do that, there is no limit on what they can accomplish the rest of the season.
Mason returns home for Senior Night and the annual Green Game on Wednesday, March 4, when they take on Saint Louis at 7 p.m.