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William & Mary (12-14) at George Mason (16-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: CSN-MA, NE, CSS, TCN. Home Record: W&M 8-4, GMU 6-5. Away Record: W&M 4-10, GMU 7-4. Neutral Record: W&M 0-0, GMU 3-2. Conference Record: W&M 6-9, GMU 9-6. Series Record: George Mason leads, 38-27.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to break into the top tier of the Colonial Athletic Association, the George Mason Patriots host the William & Mary Tribe in a conference matchup at the Patriot Center.
The Tribe were victorious on Monday night, 75-63, when they hosted Georgia State. That gave them three straight wins, but they are still sitting in eighth place in the conference standings. They are just 1-6 away from home against league foes this season.
A win over Hofstra on the road on Wednesday night made the Patriots 3-2 in their last five games. At 9-6 in conference, they are in fifth place, but just a game out of second place in the crowded upper register of the CAA.
George Mason leads the all-time series with the Tribe at 38-27, including a 73-67 victory in Williamsburg on Jan. 5, and 70-56 victory over W&M in the only meeting last season in Fairfax. GMU has won the last three contests in the series, and four of the last five overall.
William and Mary downed the Georgia State Panthers at home on Monday night, the team shooting 57.8 percent from the floor, which included a stellar 12- of-18 showing from 3-point range. Junior guard Brandon Britt finished with a game-high 20 points, including a career-best 6-of-8 effort from beyond the arc, to go along with three steals. Senior guard Matt Rum poured in a career- high 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, while junior Kyle Gaillard just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior Tim Rusthoven and sophomore Marcus Thornton rounded out the Tribe's quintet of double-digit scorers with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Rusthoven chipped in with five rebounds and five assists, while Thornton added four assists and a pair of treys.
Three W&M players average double-digits in scoring, led by Thornton who ranks second in the CAA at 18.5 ppg. Rusthoven and Britt chip in 14.3 and 14.1 ppg, respectively, and the Tribe leads the CAA in team field goal shooting at 46.3 percent. They are scoring 69.2 ppg, but giving up 68.3 ppg.
A balanced offensive attack led by 20 points from junior Jonathan Arledge propelled George Mason to a 79-50 victory over Hofstra in their last outing. Arledge was one of three double-digit scorers for the Patriots, who shot 54 percent from the field. Sophomore Erik Copes notched his second double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while junior Sherrod Wright added 10 points. In total, 11 different Patriots scored in the game.
GMU is averaging 66.3 ppg and yielding a stingy 63.6 ppg, allowing them to record a conference-best scoring margin of +2.8. They are limiting opponents to just 40.1 percent shooting from the field, second-best in the CAA. The Patriots have been fairly successful in the final five minutes of their games, holding foes to a 36.5 percent shooting effort. The team is limited in scoring options though, with only Wright averaging in double figures at 17.0 ppg. Erik Copes is pulling down 5.6 rpg to lead the squad.
The Tribe come in as the hot team, having won their last three games, but the Patriots play great defense and should be able to continue W&M's road woes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 67, William & Mary 64
02/23 10:47:56 ET
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