George Mason (7-6) at Old Dominion (5-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Ted Constant Convocation Center (9,100) -- Norfolk, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: GMU 5-1, ODU 4-3. Away Record: GMU 1-2, ODU 1-4. Neutral Record: GMU 1-3, ODU 0-2. Conference Record: GMU 0-0, ODU 0-0. Series Record: Old Dominion leads, 34-21.
GAME NOTES: The George Mason Patriots take aim at their third win in a row as they invade the Ted Constant Convocation Center to face their former Colonial Athletic Association rival Old Dominion Monarchs.
George Mason downed Saint Mary's, 65-63, on Dec. 25 before opening up 2014 with an 80-77 victory over Penn on Thursday. The two-game streak improved the Patriots to a 7-6 overall record. They had lost four in a row to South Florida (68-66), Oklahoma (81-66), Iowa State (79-67) and Oregon State (58-54) before defeating the Gaels. The Patriots will make their Atlantic 10 Conference debut on Jan. 9 at Virginia Commonwealth. They are ranked last in the league in scoring offense at 66.4 ppg and their allowance of 66.9 ppg is the sixth best in the conference.
The Monarchs dropped a 74-68 decision to William & Mary on New Year's Day to fall to 5-9 on the campaign. Old Dominion has now lost two games in a row and eight of its last nine. The Monarchs were downed by the Tribe despite hitting on 50 percent of their field goal tries. William & Mary outscored them by 16 points at the free-throw line in the bout. Old Dominion is scoring only 65 ppg on just 10.8 assists per outing. The Monarchs will make their first-ever Conference USA appearance next Saturday at East Carolina.
Old Dominion leads the all-time series over George Mason, 34-21. However, the Patriots have taken the last five decisions over the Monarchs, including a season sweep last year.
Bryon Allen scored 24 points for GMU against Penn to lead the charge. The Patriots received some help from their bench in the contest. Jalen Jenkins had 10 points and led the team in rebounding with six, and Patrick Holloway tallied 18 points, while making 4-of-7 tries from behind the 3-point line.
Holloway is averaging 16 ppg over his last four games and has knocked down 16 shots from 3-point range during that span. Allen, who has scored in double figures the last six contests, is leading the Patriots at 13.7 ppg, just in front of Sherrod Wright (13.1 ppg), who has been held under 10 points in five consecutive outings. Sophomore forward Marko Gujanicic (9.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg) leads the team on the glass, while Holloway is the squad's go-to player on the perimeter, as he's connecting on 43.1 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
In their loss to W&M, the Monarchs were led by Aaron Bacote's career-high tying 28 points along with 12 points from Dimitri Batten and 10 from Richard Ross. ODU held its opponent to a lesser 46.7 percent shooting from the field, but the Tribe hit 11 shots from beyond the arc. ODU outrebounded the Tribe, 32-27. Bacote is having a tremendous season with 18.5 ppg and Batten is chiming in with 11.7 ppg. Keenan Palmore (9.7 ppg, 1.3 spg) and Ross (9.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.8 bpg) are both key players for the Monarchs as well.
The Patriots barely survived a home game against a very weak Penn team in their last appearance. This will be a very winnable matchup for ODU as it has done much better at home, winning four of seven games. GMU is 1-2 in true road games and will rise to the .500 mark if Wright can snap out of his slump.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 67, Old Dominion 63
01/04 10:39:24 ET