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George Washington (15-3) at George Mason (7-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 25, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: GW 9-0, GMU 5-3. Away Record: GW 3-2, GMU 1-6. Neutral Record: GW 3-1, GMU 1-3. Conference Record: GW 3-1, GMU 0-5. Series Record: George Washington leads, 10-2.
GAME NOTES: The George Washington Colonials go after their fourth consecutive victory when they tangle with the George Mason Patriots this afternoon in the first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference clash between the programs.
It's being dubbed the Revolutionary Rivalry, as the annual competition takes place between the rivals separated by less than 20 miles.
The Colonials are coming off a 79-71 triumph at St. Bonaventure a week ago. Maurice Creek scored 21 points to pace GW, which also received 17 points, five assists and four steals from Kethan Savage. Kevin Larsen added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Strong defense and hustle are big reasons behind the success of the Colonials. George Washington is first in the A-10 with 5.4 blocks and also second in steals at 8.2 spg. One of GW's best offensive players, Savage (13.4 ppg), will be out of action the next 6-to-8 weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot. The team's second-leading scorer suffered the injury during the win at St. Bonaventure. Savage has also averaged 4.6 rebounds while starting all but one of 18 games this season.
GW is led offensively by Creek (14.5 ppg). The graduate guard is among the top-10 in the conference in foul shooting (.796). Senior forward Isaiah Armwood (10.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg) had a double-double in his opening three A-10 games until being limited to five points and seven boards against the Bonnies. Larsen (11.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg), a 6-foo-10 sophomore forward, is shooting 55.9 percent from the field. Sophomore swingman Patricio Garino 9.5 ppg is making 59.7 percent from the floor. GW ranks fifth in the A-10 in scoring, averaging 75.3 ppg.
George Mason, which has lost six games in a row and 10 of its last 12, remains the only winless team in the Atlantic 10. The Patriots suffered a 76-70 defeat at Fordham on Wednesday. Sherrod Wright finished with 21 points to lead the Pats, while Byron Allen scored 13, Erik Copes chipped in with 10 and Jalen Jenkins pulled down 11 rebounds.
Allen (14.5 ppg) and Wright (14.3 ppg) are the lone double-digit scorers for the Patriots, who average 68.0 ppg, which is the second-lowest mark in the A-10, ahead of only Rhode Island. Defense has also been troublesome for the Patriots, as foes are shooting 44.6 percent from the field against them. That ranks 11th out of 13 conference teams. GMU averages 9.8 assists, which on a game-by-game basis is the worst mark in the A-10.
With these teams headed in opposite directions, it's easy to see how GW should dominate the Patriots. George Mason has won all but two of its contests on its home court, and the Patriots will be fired up for this national telecast, but the Colonials seem too strong on the interior and will increase their win streak.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 77, George Mason 72
01/25 10:35:56 ET