The Patriots win their third straight game against La Salle during homecoming weekend.
BY JALEN STUBBS, SPORTS EDITOR
The Patriots (16-12) were victorious against La Salle at Homecoming this past Saturday closing with a final score of 70-66. With an attendance of 6,513 fans, the Patriots showed out and had an outstanding performance in both periods of the game.
“Basketball is a game of runs and there were a lot of ups and downs in this game,” said Coach English. “I thought our guys showed some resilience in the second half getting down six or so.”
Senior Josh Oduro led the team in scoring after tallying 25 points. Junior Ronald Polite III played 38 minutes and tallied 15 points. Polite explained how the team was able to pull through during the second half.
“Just focusing on defense,” said Polite III. “We went through a rough patch, shots weren’t falling…still had to lock men on defense, shots will fall and we know that.”
Coach English suggested that the reason their offense wasn’t what he expected was because of how well La Salle played defensively. Despite going one for four from the three-point line, Polite III’s open three in the second period was a huge factor in the Patriot’s success against La Salle.
“We’re usually better offensively in the second half,” said Coach English. “Our lone three was a huge one from Ronald but found a way to get stops and create some scores at the free throw line when our offense wasn’t fluent.”
Mason had some disappointing losses in the past this season against teams such as Saint Louis and George Washington, yet Coach English saw this as an opportunity for the improvement of the players. He is proud of how his team responded to those losses and made the necessary adjustments–defense being one of them. La Salle guards, Jhamir Brickus and Khalil Brantley were the most competitive players on the floor.
“You’re not playing defense against no one,” said Coach English. “You’re playing defense against some really good players and Brantly and Brickus are some very talented guards. We want to force guys into the contest 2 point jump shots and Brantley made some tough ones.”
This being the third straight win for the Patriots, Oduro views this as nothing more than another game to keep the team on track leading up to the A-10 tournament.
“Honestly we just looking at it as one win at a time…excited about today’s win,” said Oduro.
Coach English believes that the home game advantage also sealed the deal knowing that the support brings energy to the team as a whole. He was grateful for all the fans who came out to support the franchise.
“You really feel it,” said Coach English. “The energy in the building, for the first time I had walked in here, I’d imagine what it would look like…I really appreciate everyone that made the trip to Fairfax today to support us.”
The Patriots will visit the Dayton Flyers on Saturday, February 20 at 6 p.m. which will be televised on ESPNU.