St. Bonaventure (14-10) at George Mason (9-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: MASN. Home Record: SBU 9-2, GMU 5-5. Away Record: SBU 3-7, GMU 3-7. Neutral Record: SBU 2-1, GMU 1-3. Conference Record: SBU 4-6, GMU 3-8. Series Record: George Mason leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The George Mason Patriots will begin a three-game homestand on Saturday evening, as they host the St. Bonaventure Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash.
George Mason is carrying a bit of momentum into this duel, as it has won back- to-back games, including an impressive 91-80 road triumph over once nationally-ranked Massachusetts on Wednesday. However, the Patriots are still just 9-15 overall and 3-8 in league play. They have a tough task next, hosting No. 12 Saint Louis.
St. Bonaventure snapped a two-game skid on Wednesday with a 76-65 road victory over Fordham. The Bonnies are also near the bottom of the A-10 standings at 4-6 in conference action, but they have a more respectable 14-10 mark overall. They host Duquesne and Rhode Island in their next two games.
This the first and only scheduled meeting between these new conference foes, as George Mason is in its first season in the A-10. The Patriots have won two of the three previous matchups, most recently in a 95-58 rout in 2004.
Matthew Wright and Andell Cumberbatch each scored 18 points to lead St. Bonaventure over Fordham. The Bonnies sank 49.2 percent of their shots from the floor, compared to 22 percent for the Rams, who had eight fewer field goals in the contest.
Wright (15.3 ppg) is one of only two players on the roster averaging double figures for the Bonnies, but the team is not without scoring punch. In fact, seven contributors are putting in at least eight ppg. Charlon Kloof (12.5 ppg, 4.8 apg) fits in well as a second option, as he leads the team in assists as well. Cumberbatch (9.9 ppg) fills in the gaps and Youssou Ndoye (9.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 bpg) eats up space on the interior, ranking fourth in the A-10 in blocked shots. As a collective unit, the Bonnies are scoring 74.1 ppg, while shooting over 45 percent from the field.
Sherrod Wright netted a game-high 22 points and Erik Copes dominated inside with 12 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks in George Mason's win over UMass. The Patriots held the Minutemen to 39.7 percent shooting, including a 3-of-15 showing from their leading scorer Chaz Williams.
On the campaign, George Mason has not had as much offensive success as the Bonnies. The Patriots are scoring a shade under 70 ppg and hitting 44.3 percent of their field goal attempts. Wright (14.6 ppg) may be the overall leader of the team, but Bryon Allen (15.3 ppg, 3 apg) tops the squad in scoring and assists. He finished with 19 points on 6-of-16 showing to go with four assists in the surprise win over UMass. However, Wright has picked up his game of late, with three straight games of at least 18 points, including a pair of 20-point efforts.
With the Patriots playing some of their best basketball of the season, the Bonnies will need to play well to earn a victory. George Mason is still the same team that lost nine straight games earlier in the campaign, so even if it wins it won't be easy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 70, St. Bonaventure 65
02/15 10:48:13 ET