Men’s Basketball: Despite outcome, NU players deliver strong performance

By Andrew Parente

The men’s basketball team suffered a setback Saturday, falling to George Mason 80-52.

With the loss, the Huskies’ two-game conference winning streak was broken as they fell to 6-9, 2-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Patriots improved to 11-5, 3-2 in the CAA.

George Mason’s defense gave Northeastern problems throughout the game, as the Huskies went just 8-22 shooting in the first half. They were able to pick up the scoring in the second half, and their shooting numbers improved to 13 of 28 from the floor.

“We struggled to get the ball where we needed to get it,” said head coach Bill Coen. “We had poor ball handling and poor shooting and things just kind of snowballed.”

Freshman guard Chase Allen led the Huskies in scoring for the contest, recording 13 points on 5-7 shooting.

Northeastern had two other players in double digits as well. Sophomores Matt Janning and Nkem Ojougboh tallied 11 and 10 points respectively.

For Ojougboh, this marked the eighth straight game in which he has recorded double-digit scoring.

Mason’s three-point shooting gave the Huskies trouble throughout the contest. For the game, the Patriots converted nine shots from behind the arc, posting a 45 percent mark. They also shot 65 percent from the floor in the first half, taking a 38-20 lead.

Northeastern was able to hang tough with Mason throughout the early going. A hook shot from Ojougboh five minutes into the game gave the Huskies an 11-9 lead.

However, that would be the last time Northeastern led in the game, as Mason rattled off a 29-9 run to end the half, including a 10-0 run in the final minutes.

Mason freshman Cam Long and junior Dre Smith turned in valiant efforts in the first half to help its run.

“To his credit, [Long] was aggressive and took the ball to the basket,” Coen said. “They were making some three-point shots as well, but his play really made our zone a little bit more ineffective.”

The Patriots opened the second half much like it ended the first as they went on an 8-0 run. A three-point shot from Janning ended that, but Mason quickly responded by scoring the next seven points.

Freshman forward Vinny Lima made his debut for the Huskies and saw 15 minutes of action in the contest. However, in his time on the court, he did not attempt a field goal, but did pull in one rebound.

Mason junior guard John Vaughan led the game in scoring with 16 points.

Despite the loss, Coen remains positive and knows this is just one game in what is a long season.

“This game was kind of the complete opposite of our game against Drexel,” Coen said. “Today’s just one loss, and it only counts as one in the league standings and I really don’t think our effort was indicative of how much we have progressed over the year.”

Northeastern will look to get back to its winning ways when the team heads back to Virginia to take on William ‘ Mary Wednesday night. The Huskies return home to battle Delaware Saturday at Matthews Arena at 5 p.m.