BY DOMENIC ALLEGRA SPORTS EDITOR
On Wednesday, men’s basketball defeated La Salle in their largest margin of victory in an Atlantic 10 game. The 33 point win is the largest A-10 win since the Patriots beat the Saint Louis Billikens on Feb. 28, 2015 (28 points, 78-50).
“The guys have worked so hard and I told our assistants that I wanted them rewarded for their effort and execution over the past week,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “We laid an egg Saturday against Richmond, but there can be a lag time between practice performance and game performance. Our energy was great tonight and our attention to detail was excellent. Tonight was a great effort, but now we need to use it and build upon it.”
The 42 points allowed marked the fewest allowed by a Mason team since the 71-39 win over Monmouth on Nov. 15, 2011.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
MASON HAD THE OFFENSIVE EDGE
After La Salle scored the first two points of the game, Mason never trailed again in the contest. Mason turned an 18-point lead into a 25-point lead and then built that into a 33-point lead to finish the game. The Patriots shot 55 percent from the field in the first half and 49 percent for the game.
The Patriots also dominated the glass (50-35) and the interior, with a 48-30 edge in points in the paint and 19-7 advantage in second chance points. Mason also converted 18 La Salle turnovers into a remarkable 21-2 edge in points off turnovers for the game.
The Green and Gold finished with 48 points in the paint to La Salle’s 30 and 19 second-chance points to La Salle’s seven.
MASON NEEDS TO CONTINUE THIS SUCCESS
The Patriots have struggled in A-10 play the last two seasons. If they want to stay out of the bottom four of the standings, they’ll have to continue winning the games they’re favored to win.
Mason has an easier strength of schedule in the back half of A-10 play, playing against teams in the bottom half of the standings. The Patriots’ next four opponents have a combined five total wins in A-10 play.
GREENE HITS 1,000
Senior Javon Greene led the green and gold with 18 points in this contest and recorded eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. During the game, Greene became the 39th player to reach the 1,000-point milestone in program history.
“I’m so happy for Javon,” Paulsen said. “He’s handled some struggles and adversity at a really high level this season — that says a lot more about a person than when everything goes great. He’s poured his heart and soul into this program.”
Mason takes the court again in Rhode Island on Jan. 16.