Sunday, February 5, 2012

Offense optional in JMU victory over George Mason

JMU 49, George Mason 45

Don't know how the Dukes do it.

JMU shot 22.1 percent. We weren't sure that was possible. I mean, has anyone else beaten a team shooting 22.1 percent? Ever? What's the record for lowest shooting percentage in a victory? I'll bet it's not a whole lot lower than 22.1 percent. Wouldn't be shocked it that was the record - 22.1 percent.

Any yet somehow the Dukes keep landing on the sunny side of shooting performances like this. They may not be good at consistently playing well, but they're excellent at making sure you play worse. So on a day when the Dukes' shooting woes almost certainly should have resigned them to a double-digit loss, they instead won for the sixth time in seven games and moved into a second-place tie with Hofstra in the CAA standings.

Given the Dukes' proven knack for winning ugly like this, we're not going to be too critical of George Mason  (11-11, 5-6 CAA) for not pulling this one out. Sure, giving up 28 offensive rebounds is on them. And we're curious as to how a team can attempt 63 shots, of which only 7 are behind the 3-point stripe, yet make it to the free throw line only 4 times.

Mostly, though, we think it's another case of the Dukes (16-5, 8-3) defending an opponent into one of their worst offensive showings. And to think, JMU did it without defensive ace Nikki Newman, who got her bell rung early in Wednesday's victory at Old Dominion and sat out for the first time in her 89-game JMU career.

Even without Newman, when the Dukes clamp down and rebound like this, they've shown they can get away with just about any level of shooting inaccuracy. Even if it's 22.1 percent.

"We missed some early, and it snowballed," Dukes coach Kenny Brooks said.

That's about the fifth time Brooks has made such a remark, which is a strange one to keep hearing from the winning coach.

But that pretty much sums up the 2011-12 Dukes so far - strange.

Strange and successful.

No comments:

Post a Comment