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Massachusetts (19-5) at George Washington (19-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Smith Center (4,338) -- Washington, DC. Television: CSN. Home Record: UMass 9-1, GW 12-0. Away Record: UMass 5-4, GW 4-4. Neutral Record: UMass 5-0, GW 3-1. Conference Record: UMass 6-4, GW 7-3. Series Record: GW leads, 36-28.
GAME NOTES: Two teams both in search of their 20th win of the season will meet up at the Smith Center, as the George Washington Colonials entertain the Massachusetts Minutemen.
UMass has hit a bit of a rough patch and is 3-4 over its last seven outings, which followed up a six-game winning streak. Most recently, the Minutemen lost at home to George Mason on Wednesday night, 91-80.
Similarly, George Washington has split its last four contests after reeling off a five-game winning streak. The Colonials are coming off Wednesday's 92-75 setback at VCU but have yet to lose on their homecourt in 12 tries so far this season.
GW leads the all-time series, 36-28, although UMass notched a 77-72 victory when these teams met up in last year's A-10 tourney.
Despite putting 80 points on the scoreboard, UMass had its nine-game homecourt winning streak snapped against George Mason earlier this week. Both teams made seven 3-pointers for the game, but the Patriots needed only 13 attempts (.538), whereas UMass launched 25 attempts (.280) from beyond the arc. The Minutemen shot just 39.7 percent from the floor and their struggles even carried over to the foul line, where they missed 11-of-30 attempts. Trey Davis led paced Minutemen with a team-high 20 points off the bench, followed by Sampson Carter (10.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg) with 16 points. Cady Lalanne (13.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg) posted a double-double in the loss, as he tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four blocks. Leading scorer Chaz Williams (15.7 ppg) had a rough night, finishing with only eight points on 3-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Headlining GW's lineup is sharpshooter Maurice Creek, who is averaging team- highs of 14.1 ppg and 55 3-pointers (.387). The Colonials have been without second-leading scorer Kethan Savage (13.4 ppg) since Jan. 21 due to a fractured bone in his foot that is expected to keep him out of action for 6-8 weeks. His absence has placed more of a scoring burden on the shoulders of guys like Isaiah Armwood (12.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg), Kevin Larsen (11.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Patricio Garino (11.5 ppg). Larsen and Garino, in particular, have certainly proven capable as they are shooting 58 and 59 percent from the floor, respectively. The Colonials shot a healthy 53 percent as a team against VCU, but they also committed 22 turnovers and could not keep pace with a Rams squad that knocked down 13-of-25 3-pointers (.520). Creek and Armwood shared team-high scoring honors with 16 points apiece, Garino scored 16, and Larsen recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Scoring has not been much of a problem for either team this season, but turnovers and defensive consistency have been issues. Give a slight edge to the more balanced Colonials who will have the homecourt advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 75, Massachusetts 70
02/15 10:16:32 ET
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