George Mason (4-0) at Iona (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: None. Home Record: GMU 3-0, Iona 1-0. Away Record: GMU 1-0, Iona 0-2. Neutral Record: GMU 0-0, Iona 0-0. Conference Record: GMU 0-0, Iona 0-0. Series Record: George Mason leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The George Mason Patriots aim for their first-ever 5-0 start to a season when they take on the Iona Gaels this afternoon in a non-conference matchup.
This is only the second time the Patriots have started 4-0. The last time came in 2007-08 when George Mason won that contest, but then lost the ensuing game to Villanova.
The Patriots are coming off a 58-46 home win over St. Francis (PA) on Tuesday. Sherrod Wright had 14 points and Marko Gujanicic tallied 11 points and eight rebounds to lead GMU, which won despite shooting a paltry 37.8 percent from the field. The Patriots held St. Francis to 30 percent shooting.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, has scored in double figures in all four contests and is averaging a team-best 15.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting. Guard Bryon Allen, who has missed the previous two games with a knee injury, is second on the team in scoring at 14.0 ppg. Gujanicic is third at 12.8 ppg and leads the squad with 8.3 rebounds an outing. Sophomore guard Patrick Holloway has started half of the four games and is averaging 8.8 points. George Mason is shooting a respectable 44.9 percent from the field. The Patriots have thrived on the glass by holding a 37-29 rebounding advantage on average in each game. They're also limiting teams to 27.4 percent efficiency from beyond the arc.
The Gaels were 86-66 losers at No. 2 Kansas on Tuesday. A.J. English paced Iona (1-2) with a career-high 21 points in the losing effort. Sean Armand and David Laury chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively. Iona trailed by only five at halftime, but fell apart in the second half. Iona has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by 17.0 points from Armand. Laury (15.7), Isaiah Williams (10.7) and Tre Bowman (10.0) are also averaging double figures. Iona enters the game averaging just over 70 points, but is struggling from the field at 40.4 percent.
George Mason has won both previous encounters with the Gaels, but the teams haven't met since Dec. 8, 2004. Expect a close game, but balance on offense could help Iona overcome the Patriots this afternoon.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 68, George Mason 64
11/23 10:33:28 ET