Despite Efficient Numbers By George Mason, Northeastern Comes Back In CAA Tourney

By Jake Fischer
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

RICHMOND – Northeastern Huskies senior guard Jonathan Lee stood dribbling atop the key as the final 30 seconds of his team’s first round Colonial Athletic Association Tournament matchup against the George Mason Patriots evaporated before his eyes. Lee drove to his right and drained a lefty runner to put the Huskies up 69-67 with just three seconds to go.

“We had ran that play several times earlier in the game,” Lee, a senior co-captain said. “Coming off the screen, I had a couple of looks. The time was running down, I just put my head down and drove to the basket.”

That would remain the final score, and Northeastern would complete one of the most legendary comebacks in CAA Tournament history. And at first, it doesn’t make sense.

When you take a first glance at the team stats, it is downright befuddling that Mason did not win this ball game. Up 12 points at halftime, the Patriots came out on fire in the second half as well. They made 78.9 percent of their shots from the field, 66.7 percent of their shots from beyond the arc and 100 percent of their attempts from the line. So how did the Patriots squander their 12-point lead at the intermission?

First, while GMU did make an incredible 67 percent of their three pointers in the second half, they only made two of three attempts. Northeastern on the other hand drilled 7-11 three pointers in the second period. Simple math shows us that those five made three pointers creates a 15-point advantage for the Huskies.

Next, Mason was incredibly efficient at the charity stripe in the second half as well, but they only shot four attempts. Even though they made all four of those shots, the Huskies attempted 19 free throws following intermission—that’s a staggering difference of 15. That differential led to an 11-point advantage for Northeastern.

On top of all that, George Mason didn’t score in the final 2:54 of the game.


Jake Fischer is the CAA Columnist for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. He also hosts the CAA Relay Podcast. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @JakeLFischer.


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