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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: MASN, SNY. Home Record: URI 6-0, GMU 3-0. Away Record: URI 0-2, GMU 1-2. Neutral Record: URI 0-0, GMU 0-0. Conference Record: URI 0-0, GMU 0-0. Series Record: George Mason leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Rhode Island Rams try to win their fourth straight game when they take on the George Mason Patriots this afternoon in a non-conference tilt.
The Rams have thrived against non-conference foes since 2006-07 with a 73-45 record. That includes victories in the three most recent contests against UMass Lowell, UNC-Asheville and McNeese State, with those contests coming over a four-day span. On Tuesday, Xavier Munford scored 26 points and Gilvydas Biruta added 17 in the team's 76-71 win over McNeese State. T.J. Buchanan added 13 points for the Rams.
Rhode Island is led by Munford, who is averaging 15.1 points and 4.4 rebounds. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Munford has scored in double figures in 32 of his 37 games. The top returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 from a season ago is averaging 19.5 points over his last four contests. Freshman guard E.C. Matthews (11.0 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer. Biruta, a 6-foot-8 native of Lithuania, is leading Rhode Island in rebounding at 5.8 per game. He's also second in free-throw percentage (.783), and has bounced back nicely since being slowed by a sprained ankle earlier this season. Another contributor thus far has been Biggie Minnis, who is averaging 8.0 points while connecting on 60 percent of his field goal attempts over the last four games.
The Patriots will try to snap a two-game skid. George Mason suffered a 71-66 loss at Princeton on Tuesday. Sherrod Wright led all scorers with 27 points for the Patriots, while Bryon Allen added 11 points. Wright, who shot 10-of-16 from the floor, also pulled down eight rebounds and made four steals for the visitors. Wright leads the team with 17 points per game. The senior guard is one of three players averaging double figures. Allen (12.3 ppg) and Marko Gujanicic (11.8 ppg) are also in the starting lineup.
The Rams are averaging 71 ppg, which is six more than the Patriots, but URI has been horrendous shooting the 3-pointer. The Rams are making only 26.1 percent from long distance, and that could play a factor in today's outcome.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 68, Rhode Island 65
11/30 11:13:37 ET
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