College Park, MD —Both teams came in undefeated in this young season at 3-0. Both teams are located in a region of renowned, elite basketball talent.
George Mason University came into the night with three blowout victories while UMD has been tested a little bit more with 2 of their 3 wins closely contested.
D’Shawn Schwartz scored a career-high 24 points, DeVon Cooper chipped in 16 and George Mason withstood a solid comeback by No. 20 Maryland Terapins to pull off a 71-66 upset Wednesday night at the Xfinity Center in Maryland.
“They’re playing with incredible confidence right now and we’re not,” Terps coach Mark Turgeon said. “We think we’re supposed to beat everybody. It’s not that way. It’s too hard. We didn’t vote ourselves 20th. And so you take everybody’s best shot. We don’t know how to handle it yet. As soon as we figure out how to handle it, we’re going to be a better team.”
The first half of the game was an intense back-and-forth battle with George Mason beating UMD with hustle and grit on the court. The Terps have recently struggled to get into a cohesive rhythm in their prior games, which appeared to hinder them again against the Patriots.
The first half showed that George Mason would not be intimidated by their DMV neighbor. With 7:50 to play in the first half, GMU took an early 4 point lead at 22-18 behind 11 points from Schwartz.
By halftime, the Battle of the Beltway was a tight one lead by the Patriots. Mason shot 42% from the floor and 42% from 3-point range while the Terps shot a whooping 54% for the floor and 38% from 3-point range.
The second half heated up quickly for GMU who quickly pushed the lead to a 10 point lead with Patriots Schwartz warming it up with 7 quick points in that frame. A George Mason lay up and a missed shot from Eric Ayala was enough for the Patriots to seal it.
The Terps were led by Donta Scott’s 18 points and grabbed 10 boards for his first double-double this season.
“I know it’s the first time George Mason ever beat Maryland and all that stuff, but it’s a quality road win for us,”GMU coach Kim English said. “We didn’t prepare for Maryland any differently than we did Stony Brook, Penn, Morgan State. Our standard is our standard. I’m really proud of our guys. It keeps us on track with our goals.”
The Patriots face in-state foe James Madison on the road Friday night.
Maryland wraps up its season-opening, five-game home-stand Friday night against Hofstra.