WILLIAMSBURG -- William and Mary found answers for George Mason on offense and the boards, but the question of how to slow down the Patriots' offensive attack still lingered in Tribe coach Tony Shaver's mind after Saturday's 85-67 loss before 3,074 at Kaplan Arena.
"They've got so many weapons offensively that they are so hard to stop," Shaver said. "We outrebounded them tonight. We limited turnovers to nine and we shot a good percentage from the field, but we just couldn't stop them."
George Mason increased William and Mary's losing streak to four games while notching its seventh consecutive win, thanks in part to 53-percent shooting from the field and only four turnovers. The Patriots also dominated scoring in the lane, 48-28. Cam Long led five Patriots in double figures, scoring 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting.
The Tribe was led by Quinn McDowell, who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Kitts added 12 points and eight rebounds and Brandon Britt, who paced the Tribe in the first half, scored seven of his 14 points in the first 20 minutes.
GMU (16-5, 8-2 CAA), which improved to 6-3 on the road, jumped to an 11-3 lead -- its largest of the first half -- when Luke Hancock made two free throws with 16:45 remaining. McDowell's three-pointer sparked a 11-2 run, capped by the junior's jumper to give W&M a 14-13 lead.
The remainder of the half witnessed nine lead changes and four ties before George Mason went on a 7-0 run to end the half. Long pulled down a rebound along the Tribe baseline and drilled a 3-pointer at the top of the key as time expired.
The Patriots never relinquished their 42-37 halftime lead.
"It was a big play," said Shaver, whose team shot 50 percent from the field, including 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, in the first half.
"We played so well (in the first half), but to be down five, that was a tough thing. We talked at halftime about that not letting us get down, but they jumped on us."
The Patriots carried the momentum from the second half, extending the lead to 10 during a 5-0 run when Long dunked with 18:05 remaining.
William and Mary pulled within six twice, but George Mason shot 50 percent from the field in the second half en route to outscoring the Tribe 43-32.
"They were doing so many great things offensively that I felt we had to respond offensive," Patriots coach Jim Larranaga said. "The way the team came out to start the second half really helped us build confidence as we were playing."
William and Mary will rest from playing four games in eight days before beginning a two-game trip Feb. 2 against James Madison. The Tribe is just 1-9 on the road.
"We have to play great across the board," Shaver said. "Now what we have to do over these five weeks is keep improving. We can't let this thing defeat us."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun