BY NATALIE HEAVREN STAFF WRITER
“We’re on the struggle bus,” head coach Nyla Milleson said,opening the press conference after the team’s 67-47 to GW. Mason fell to 0-5 in conference play and 3-8 overall. This was the Patriots’ fourth loss of at least 20 points this season.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
OFFENSE NEEDS TO BE FOUND
Mason has not scored more than 50 points since Jan. 3 and has struggled offensively since mid-December.
“We’re just trying to find some combinations. We’re just trying to find some people that can help us,” Milleson said.
One possible option for a spark is freshman Teodora Popovic.
TEODORA POPOVIC IS HERE AND READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT
The freshman from Serbia made her debut on the practice court on Jan. 8 and saw her first game action against GW.
Though Popovic only played for eight minutes, she amassed two points, two rebounds and one block.
Milleson was optimistic about the spark Popovic could bring to the Patriots as she begins to adjust and becomes more familiar with the team.
“I thought she was pretty solid. You can see the wheel spinning and, you know, I think definitely offensively she’s going to be able to help us,” Milleson said. “I think she’s probably a little behind defensively, but she’s gone up and down the floor really [only] about three minutes with us.”
TURNOVERS NEED TO BE REDUCED
Mason entered the game averaging 15.9 turnovers per game, the fifth-worst in the conference. Against the Colonials, the Patriots committed 20 turnovers, just one shy of their season high.
GW was able to capitalize and turned the 20 turnovers into 38 points. Meanwhile, Mason only forced five turnovers which turned into four points. The turnover differential and points off of turnovers proved to be the difference for the Patriots.
While reducing turnovers will not fix all of Mason’s offensive struggles, it will provide the team with more shot opportunities.
The Patriots are scheduled to next step on the court on Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. against La Salle.