BY NATALIE HEAVREN STAFF WRITER
Mason fell to 3-13 on the season and 0-9 in Atlantic 10 play after losing in overtime to VCU on Friday night and against Richmond on Sunday afternoon.
Here are three takeaways from the weekend homestand:
THE OFFENSE HAS PROGRESSED, BUT THERE IS STILL MORE WORK TO BE DONE
Mason has struggled to score more than 50 points in conference play and on Jan. 29 against VCU the team scored 56 points, the team’s most since Jan. 3. After scoring 52 points against Richmond, the Patriots scored 50+ points two games in a row for the first time since Dec. 1 and Dec. 6.
While scoring 50 points is a milestone that eluded the Patriots for weeks, the team will need to score more points and increase their scoring efficiency in order to win its first conference game.
NEW PLAYERS EMERGING AS CONTRIBUTORS
On Friday, Taylor Jameson exploded for a career-high 12 points and added six rebounds, three assists and a career-high three steals.
Prior to the game, head coach Nyla Milleson gave Jameson two goals: to be aggressive and to continue to play after making mistakes.
“Her play was really good,” Milleson said. “But just more the way she, she carried herself and she handled herself and she helped to lead this team tonight without Marika [Korpinen].”
Against Richmond, Teodora Popovic had a career-high 13 points and added three rebounds and two assists. In just her fifth collegiate game, Popovic led the team in scoring — showing her abilities on the offensive end of the floor. While she has turned the ball over as many as seven times in a game, Popovic had zero turnovers against Richmond.
If Jameson and Popovic can become consistent scorers, the Patriots’ offense will have more weapons against the strong defenses they are scheduled to face.
THE TEAM NEEDS TO CONTROL WHAT THEY CAN CONTROL
After the game against Richmond, Milleson stressed that while the team cannot control everything, they have not been controlling what they can.
“I just really need them to stay disciplined in their preparation,” Milleson said. “I need them to stay disciplined in sleeping, eating, the weight room, whatever it is, because our margin of error, obviously is very, very, very slim and then you don’t control what you can control … If we don’t do that, whoever the weakest link is [is] where we’re going to be.”
The Patriots will need to follow through on these changes in order to get its first conference game win of the season, and the team’s first win since Dec. 21.
Mason is scheduled to go on the road to take on Massachusetts and Rhode Island next weekend and return home to take on St. Bonaventure on Feb. 12.