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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 26, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: GMU 3-0, Princeton 2-0. Away Record: GMU 1-1, Princeton 1-1. Neutral Record: GMU 0-0, Princeton 0-0. Conference Record: GMU 0-0, Princeton 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: A pair of one-loss teams will try to continue their impressive starts to the season, as the George Mason Patriots head to Jadwin Gymnasium to take on the Princeton Tigers.
George Mason opened its season with four consecutive wins for the first time in more than a decade, but its perfect record was ruined in its latest bout, as it fell at Iona on Saturday, 89-73. The Patriots never stood a chance in the road setback, as they got down 14-0 four minutes into the game and never even got their deficit to single-digits the rest of the way. They shot just 40.3 percent from the field (including 4-of-14 from 3-point range) and committed a game-high 15 turnovers. Marko Gujanicic and Sherrod Wright both scored 12 points to lead the way, while Bryon Allen and Corey Edwards netted 10 points apiece and combined to hand out nine assists.
Meanwhile, Princeton is also off to an impressive start to the campaign at 3-1. Since losing at tough road matchup at Butler on Nov. 16 (70-67), the Tigers have ripped off two straight wins at home to Lafayette (81-80 in OT) and most recently at Rice on Saturday, 70-56. They shot a modest 45.5 percent from the floor, and more importantly held Rice to only 38.5 percent shooting. The balanced effort saw 11 different players score points, paced by 15 from Hans Brase. Ben Hazel was also solid in the triumph, registering 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
This matchup marks the first time George Mason and Princeton have met on the hardwood.
On the season, George Mason has been rather uninspiring on the offensive end of the court, as it scores just 67.6 points per game on 43.8 percent field goal shooting, but it is able to make up for it with a strong defensive attack that allows only 63.8 points per game. The Patriots are also aided by a stellar rebounding margin (+7.0). Wright is the go-to scoring option, as he nets 15.0 points per game, although he has 12 turnovers to just three assists. Allen (12.7 ppg, 4.3 apg) has made up for lost time since missing the season's first two games, while Gujanicic (12.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is a mainstay in the frontcourt.
Princeton is built in a similar mold, as it neither scores (71.2 ppg) nor allows (64.0 ppg) many points. More than half of the Tigers' 210 field goal attempts this season have come from beyond the arc, and they have been impressive so far in making nearly 39 percent of those long-range buckets. Denton Koon comes off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 13.3 points per game while adding 6.3 rpg to boot. Will Barrett and Brase both pour in 11.5 points per game, while Brase also leads the team in rebounding with 8.0 per contest. Hazel (9.8 ppg) narrowly misses the double-digit scorers club.
Although heading into Jadwin Gym is not an enviable task for any team, George Mason is up for the challenge with its strong balance and impressive defense. The Tigers will keep it close throughout, but the Patriots will find a way to earn the win down the stretch.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Mason 70, Princeton 66
11/26 10:34:11 ET