American squeaked by Loyola (MD), 71-70 while George Mason and VCU picked up important conference wins.
The Eagles used a 16-3 run to erase an eight point first half deficit on their way to a one point win. It was their first win of the season. “They’ve been working really hard,” said head coach Mike Brennan. “Loyola is a good team with one of the best players in the league.”
Jamir Harris led the Eagles with 23 points. American is back in action tomorrow against Loyola (MD).
George Mason (8-6, 4-4) was completing their back to back with St. Joe’s. Earlier in the week, the Patriots defeated the Hawks in double overtime. Extra time wasn’t needed today. George Mason cruised to a 71-62 victory today.
Defensively, George Mason was much better than they were in the previous game. They defended the three-point line and it showed. After letting the Hawks make 13 threes in Fairfax, George Mason held them to seven today.
“They had 13 3s against us in the first game and we said we had to cut those in half,” head coach Dave Paulsen said. “That’s what we basically did – they had seven. They live with the three, and we had to make it harder for them. They got less off and shot a lower percentage and that was a matter of will from our guys.”
On offense, the Patriots shot 50% from the floor. They were led by Jordan Miller’s 18 points.
Happy birthday, @Jordan_miller11!
Nothing like a win and a great performance to celebrate 🎁🎈 pic.twitter.com/0goAkjwJWM
— Mason Men’s Basketball (@MasonMBB) January 23, 2021
Last time out, VCU (11-4, 4-2) blew a 15-point halftime lead to St. Bonaventure. Today the Rams were up on Dayton by 20 and the half and there was no way they were giving it up. VCU would blowout Dayton 66-43.
“When you have a second half like that (vs St. Bonaventure), there’s nowhere to go but up,” said VCU head coach Mike Rhoades.
Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland led the Rams with 28 points.
— VCU Basketball (@VCU_Hoops) January 23, 2021
As explosive as his offense was, the defense was the story.
VCU’s half-court defense was just as good as their legendary “havoc” full court press holding Dayton to 31% shooting. “I thought Ace Baldwins best game of the year was today,” said Rhoades. “His defense on Crutcher was outstanding.”
Baldwin held Dayton’s best player to four points on 2-7 shooting. As at team, the Flyers were just 3-20 from the three point line.
VCU continues their homestand on January 27th against UMass.