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James Madison (9-8) at George Mason (9-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: CSN-CA, MA, CSS. Home Record: JMU 5-2, George Mason 4-2. Away Record: JMU 1-5, George Mason 2-3. Neutral Record: JMU 3-1, George Mason 3-2. Conference Record: JMU 3-1, George Mason 2-2. Series Record: James Madison leads, 49-43.
GAME NOTES: After their strongest defensive effort of the season, the James Madison Dukes shoot for their third win in a row on Tuesday night as they clash with the George Mason Patriots in Colonial Athletic Association action.
Over the weekend, the Dukes hosted Drexel and shut down the Dragons in allowing just 43 points which is two fewer than the previous low for a JMU opponent here in 2012-13. The victory improved James Madison to 5-2 at home and 3-1 in league play.
As for the Patriots, they too hit the hardwood on Saturday, but in their case they were on the road as they battled UNC-Wilmington and came up short in an 82-74 final. The setback snapped a brief two-game win streak by the program, and was the third in the last five games overall.
James Madison enters this game with a 49-43 advantage in the all-time series, the most victories of any program against the Patriots currently in the CAA.
The JMU defense was all over the Dragons in the first half of their meeting on Saturday, and good thing because after building an eight-point halftime lead the Dukes proceeded to shoot just 6-of-19 from the floor over the final 20 minutes of action. Rayshawn Goins and Devon Moore both tallied 14 points for the hosts, followed by Taylor Bessick who scored nine points and cleared a team-best 13 rebounds as the team produced a 38-28 rebounding advantage over the Dragons. One of only two players to have started all 17 games, Goins leads the program in scoring with 15.0 ppg and is also first on the glass with almost eight per contest. Moore checks in with 10.5 ppg and has handed out 72 assists as the squad generates 66.6 ppg.
George Mason led by as many as nine points at the 14:00 mark of the second half, but then the Seahawks went to work and not only fought their way back but eventually swung momentum in the other direction for an eight-point win. Sherrod Wright tried to keep George Mason close with his 25 points, but the remaining starters combined to score only 19 points between them. Patrick Holloway tacked on 11 points off the bench, hitting 2-of-7 beyond the arc, as the team shot just 6-of-19 from long range. Wright, the leading scorer in nine of the last two games for the Patriots, is also the lone double-digit scorer overall for the program at 17.6 ppg, shooting an impressive 51.9 percent from the floor along the way. However, after Wright there is a huge drop-off in scoring, which is why the group is coming up with just 65.4 ppg.
Clearly JMU has proven that when it wants to dial up the defense it can stymie an opponent that isn't prepared for the battle and that could be the case here against George Mason if the Patriots don't have someone other than Wright step up on offense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: James Madison 67, George Mason 59
01/15 10:32:07 ET
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