BY NATALIE HEAVREN, SPORTS EDITOR
Mason fell to 5-1 in their first away game of the season.
Despite leading for most of the first half, Mason found themselves down 43-31. The Patriots continued to struggle in the second half of the game, eventually losing 86-63.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Need to reduce the unnecessary fouls
Mason committed a season-high 25 fouls, the team’s most since Nov. 13, 2018.
The team did not match up well against Maryland’s size and athleticism and often fouled unnecessarily on the defensive end.
Prior to halftime, AJ Wilson, Jordan Miller and Josh Oduro all had two fouls. Four other Patriots had one.
In the second half the fouling spree continued. Miller fouled out and Oduro and Greg Calixte finished the game with four fouls. Maryland was in the double bonus with nine minutes left in the game.
The Terrapins scored 30 points from the free-throw line, a defining factor in this game.
Mason’s answer to being challenged by size in the future cannot be fouling, especially when the team is shorthanded and waiting for Justin Kier and Bahaïde HaÏdara to return from injury.
Free throw shooting needs to improve
In the first half, Mason made just four of their eight free-throw attempts. Capitalizing on these so-called “free” points will be necessary for Mason if they want to stay competitive against their toughest competition.
The team’s free-throw shooting improved slightly as they went 12-16 in the second half.
So far the team has failed to consistently make free throws in a game, with their shooting percentages ranging from 53 to 79 percent. This is something that will hurt them as the season progresses if they do not fix it.
AJ Wilson was very efficient
Wilson was one Mason player that still found success despite Maryland’s size. He finished with a career-high 19 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
The fact that Wilson, who is in the top five in the country in blocks per game, still had three blocks against players significantly larger than him shows that his talents will be able to translate against any opponent this season.
If Wilson can continue to be successful in the next three games in the Cayman Islands Classic, the team will be as well.
Mason returns home on Dec. 3 when they take on Jacksonville State at 7 p.m.