Men's Basketball Hosts VCU on ESPNU on Tuesday Night
Feb. 8, 2010
The George Mason men's basketball team will host VCU on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. as the Patriots and Rams meet for the only time in the regular season in a game to be televised on ESPNU. Mason will put a school-record winning streak on the line at Patriot Center in a contest that will be broadcast on WTNT 570 AM. Free Patriot foam hats will be made available to the first 500 students as Mason tries to break the school record for student attendance, a mark of 2,061.
Mason has won 17-straight home games against Colonial Athletic Association competition, tied for the longest such streak in school history. It's also the longest active streak of its nature in the CAA. Mason (15-9, 10-3) is tied for second in the CAA with Old Dominion, one game behind first place Northeastern. It's the first time all year Mason has not been in first place in the CAA. VCU is tied for fourth (17-5, 9-4) with Drexel, which beat Mason on Saturday, 73-60. The Rams currently have a four-game winning streak and have won eight of nine. Mason had gone 9-1 in January but the Patriots are winless in February.
VCU leads the CAA in scoring offense at 76.9 points per game. They are the only team in the CAA to average more than 70 points per game. The Rams are also first in the CAA in free throw percentage, assists, steals and turnover margin while standing second in field-goal percentage and third in 3-point field-goal percentage. Larry Sanders is sixth in the CAA in scoring (15.0), third in rebounding (9.0) and fourth in field-goal percentage (.541). He is also second in blocks per game at 2.6. Joey Rodriguez leads the conference in assists (6.1) and steals (2.0).
The Rams opened the season with a 9-2 record including a win over then-17th ranked Oklahoma as victories over Nevada, Rhode Island and Richmond. But the Rams started CAA play at 1-3 with road losses at William & Mary and Drexel and a home loss to Northeastern. Since then, the Rams are 8-1 in the CAA with just a road loss at Northeastern.
This is the first of three Mason games in the next three weeks televised by the ESPN family of networks. Mason's game against College of Charleston on Feb. 20 and the Patriots' game against Northeastern on Feb. 27 will air on ESPN2.
Mason has dropped the past two contests, losing twice in Richmond last year. In the regular season, Mason fell to the Rams, 76-71. In the CAA Tournament, VCU took a 71-50 win in the Championship Game to win the CAA title and deny the Patriots back-to-back conference championships. Mason did win the lone meeting in 2007-08, beating the Rams 63-51 in Fairfax.
Cam Long leads Mason with 13.3 points per game and 3.0 assists per contest. Ryan Pearson is averaging 12.1 points per game and his 7.0 rebounds and 43.6 percent shooting are both top 10 in the CAA. Andre Cornelius is fourth in the CAA with a 42.9 percent shooting from 3-point range while Mike Morrison's 1.5 blocks per game are also top 10 in the CAA.
The Fairfax area has experienced unprecedented weather condition. George Mason University encourages fans to carefully evaluate travel conditions before driving to campus and to consider other options.