Fordham (9-20) vs. George Mason (11-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 12, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Barclays Center (17,732) -- Brooklyn, New York. Television: A-10 Network. Home Record: Fordham 7-8, George Mason 6-8. Away Record: Fordham 2-12, George Mason 4-8. Neutral Record: Fordham, 0-0, George Mason 1-3. Conference Record: Fordham 2-14, George Mason 4-12. Series Record: Fordham leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament will feature the 13th-seeded Fordham Rams taking on the 12th-seeded George Mason Patriots at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The winner of this contest will take on fifth-seeded Dayton in the first round of the A-10 Tournament Thursday.
Fordham is not performing well, having lost eight straight games to end the regular season, including a tight 70-67 defeat at the hands of George Washington to end the team's schedule. One of the two conference opponents Fordham defeated on the year was George Mason back on Jan. 22.
George Mason also suffered in conference play this season, at one point losing nine consecutive games before back-to-back wins against Duquesne and UMass stopped the bleeding. The Patriots have dropped two of their last three games entering the conference tournament.
Fordham has won the only two games played between the sides in their history. One was this season back on Jan. 22 (a 76-70 Rams win), and the other was back in the 2000 season.
George Washington and Fordham battled to an extremely tight contest on Saturday, with GWU taking a two-point lead at the end of the first half, and only adding one more point on to that lead in the second frame for the three- point win. Branden Frazier led all scorers in the contest with 28 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists to his resume. Ryan Canty chipped in a double-double with 12 points and a team-high 16 rebounds, and Jon Severe scored 11 points in the loss.
Frazier has been a dominant force on a disappointing Fordham team this season, averaging a solid 18 ppg with a team-high 125 assists on the year. Severe isn't too far behind in the scoring department, netting 17.6 ppg of his own, while Mandell Thomas rounds out the double-digit Fordham scorers at 12.3 ppg. Ryan Rhoomes leads the Rams in rebounding at 7 rpg, adding a team-best 26 blocked shots. Fordham is scoring 71.7 ppg, and is allowing a dismal 78.1 ppg to opponents.
Duquesne grabbed a seven-point lead, 38-31, at the end of the first half against George Mason on Saturday and never looked back. The Dukes coasted through the second half, adding an additional five points to their lead for the ultimate 12-point win. Sherrod Wright scored 25 points in the loss, hitting 8-of-12 from the free-throw line in the contest. Bryon Allen contributed 17 points for the Patriots, who shot 39.7 percent from the floor in the game.
Wright and Allen have been the dynamic duo for the Patriots on the season, each netting over 15 points per outing. Wright tops the squad with 15.8 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting from the floor, while Allen chips in 15.2 ppg with a team-high 84 assists on the year. They are the only double-digit scorers this season for George Mason, while Patrick Holloway adds 8.8 ppg behind Wright and Allen. Jalen Jenkins tops the squad with a 6.1 rpg mark, adding 30 blocked shots to his resume. The Patriots are scoring 69.6 ppg through 30 games played, and give up 72.1 ppg to opponents.
Each team has a pair of players very capable of taking any game over, but the problem is elsewhere. The Rams give up way too many scores defensively, and George Mason doesn't get much contribution outside of its top two. Fordham simply can't seem to find a way to win, regardless of its opponent or how well Frazier and Severe perform. That will likely be the case again against a George Mason team looking to make a dent in its first A-10 Tournament appearance.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 75, Fordham 70
03/12 10:34:40 ET