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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Hofstra 5-3. George Mason 5-2. Away Record: Hofstra 0-8, George Mason 2-3. Neutral Record: Hofstra 0-1, George Mason 3-2. Conference Record: Hofstra 2-2, George Mason 2-2. Series Record: George Mason leads, 13-8.
GAMES NOTES: George Mason will wrap up a two-contest homestand on Saturday when the Patriots play host for the Hofstra Pride in a Colonial Athletic Association bout at the Patriot Center.
Hofstra hasn't been able to get into a rhythm of late by trading wins and losses in its last four contests. In comparison to the rest of the season the recent stretch has been a hot streak, as the Pride are just 5-12 overall. Hofstra has split its four conference games but going on the road is unlikely to help matters as the Pride are winless in eight trips. Hofstra is at home against Drexel and UNC Wilmington in its next two games.
The Patriots topped off in-state rival James Madison, 68-57, in the first half of this short home stretch. The win was the third in four games for George Mason which is now 10-7 overall, while also splitting its four contests against CAA competition. George Mason is 5-2 at the Patriot Center, but will travel to Towson in its next contest.
This is a conference rivalry that George Mason has owned recently with wins in eight of the last nine matchups, including a series sweep last season. The Patriots are 13-8 all-time against the Pride.
Hofstra trailed by as 12 points and never led in its loss to Northeastern this past week. The Pride shot a solid 46.9 percent from the field in the game and had a 30-26 edge in rebounds. However a 28-6 deficit in points off turnovers really sank Hofstra in the loss.
On the campaign Hofstra is being outscored by more than eight points of game due to its troubles in finding its shooting stroke. The Pride is hitting on just 39.8 percent of its shots from the floor and netting 62.2 points per game. Leading the offensive charge for the Pride are Taran Buie (14.3 ppg) and Stevie Mejia (10.8 ppg). Hurting the Pride on offense is the suspensions of Jimmy Hall (12.7 pp, 9.4 rpg) and Shaquille Stokes (10.0 ppg) who were two of four players suspended at the end of November.
George Mason came alive in the second half against James Madison as the Patriots rode a 40-24 second period to the 11-point win. The Patriots shot just 35.7 percent from the floor in the contest but limited the Dukes to just 36.7 percent shooting, while earning a 48-29 edge on the boards.
Although scoring just slightly better than Hofstra, George Mason's defensive efforts have allowed it to put up more wins than losses. The Patriots are letting up just 62.8 points per game on an even 40 percent shooting performance. On the offensive side the Patriots are a less stellar squad as they put in just 65.5 points per game despite shooting the third best percentage from the floor (.436) in the conference. Sherrod Wright (17.9 ppg, 5;0 rpg) is one of the best guards in the CAA and is third in the league in scoring, while shooting 51 percent from the field. No other players are averaging in double figures though with Johnny Williams (7.5 ppg) the only one above more than seven points a contest.
With its home crowd behind it, George Mason will be able to keep Hofstra in check offensively while finding enough scoring from Wright and company to coast to a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 72, Hofstra 62
01/19 10:32:24 ET