BY NATALIE HEAVREN, SPORTS EDITOR
Men’s Basketball improved to 10-5 in conference play and 16-12 overall after defeating the University of Richmond 77-63 Wednesday night.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
- Keep your eye on Jamal Hartwell II
Freshman Jamal Hartwell had both a career-high in minutes and points in his first start. Hartwell was put into the starting lineup after Justin Kier was late to a team lift on Monday.
Hartwell made the most of his first start, scoring all 15 of his points from behind the arc. His five three-pointers are the most by a Patriot since mid-November, according to Mark LaFrance, the assistant athletic director for communications.
Early in the second half, Hartwell hit two threes in 33 seconds to turn a one-point Mason lead into a seven-point lead, and helped to permanently shift the momentum in the Patriots’ favor.
An increased role for Hartwell could be critical for Mason’s depth down the stretch.
2. Strong second halves are key
Coming off of a 79-78 loss to Duquesne University on Feb. 23, in which Mason held an eight-point lead at halftime, playing a strong second half would be critical. And Mason did just that.
The Patriots were 8-12 from behind the arc in the second half and won the rebounding battle 21-15.
Continuing to play strong second halves will help the Patriots as they finish up conference play.
3. Making threes helps, a lot
In the first matchup between the Patriots and the Spiders, Mason made just four three-pointers while Richmond knocked down 10.
Wednesday night was a different story though. The Spiders made just five threes, two of which came in the last three and a half minutes. The Patriots, on the other hand, the Patriots knocked down 10 threes, their most since they hit 15 against Saint Joseph’s University on Jan. 3.
Making their threes, and making sure their opponents do not, will be critical down the stretch for Mason.
The Patriots return home on to take on VCU on March 5 at 7:30 p.m.