Drexel (8-12) at George Mason (12-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 31, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Patriot Center (10,000) -- Fairfax, Virginia. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Drexel 2-6, GMU 6-2. Away Record: Drexel 5-4, GMU 3-4. Neutral Record: Drexel 1-2, GMU 3-2. Conference Record: Drexel 4-4, GMU 5-3. Series Record: George Mason leads, 12-7.
GAME NOTES: The Drexel Dragons look to gain ground in the Colonial Athletic Association standings as they venture to the Patriot Center to take on George Mason.
This will be the 20th meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. GMU leads the all-time series, 12-7, with the teams splitting the last four matchups.
Bruiser Flint's Dragons looked like they were gaining steam with three consecutive victories over William & Mary, Hofstra, and Georgia State. But the momentum ran out on Tuesday as they came up short and fell, 66-64, at home to Delaware. Drexel has dealt with some devastating injuries on its way to an 8-12 overall record and 4-4 CAA mark, but its resume could easily be much better as it has lost three overtime bouts and three more by four points or less.
George Mason also had a three-game winning streak snapped its last time out, but in much less dramatic fashion as it suffered a 71-51 rout at the hands of the first place Northeastern Huskies. Coach Paul Hewitt's squad is 12-8 overall, making it just one of three teams in the CAA with a winning record. The Patriots also own a 5-3 mark in the CAA standings, which gives them sole possession of third place.
Drexel is just eighth in the CAA in scoring offense at 62.7 ppg, but it is limiting its opposition to only 63.3 ppg to stay competitive. Damion Lee has done a terrific job building upon his conference freshman of the year campaign from 2011-12, as he is second in the conference in scoring (18.2) after pouring in a career-best 30 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the floor in the loss to the Blue Hens. The Dragons shot just 34.4 percent from the floor in the loss while Delaware converted 50.9 percent of its field goal tries. Point guard Frantz Massenat is chipping in 14.4 points and 4.4 assists per tilt, while Daryl McCoy paces the Dragons on the glass with 8.2 boards per game.
The Patriots came out cold versus Northeastern and connected on only 33.9 percent of their field goal attempts including just 4-of-17 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Huskies hit 53.2 percent of their shots from the floor as they coasted to the decision. Ventrail Vaughns paced the team with 13 points off the bench while Sherrod Wright scored 12 points and committed six turnovers. Wright is the go-to-guy for GMU and is third in the league with 18.1 ppg. He is the only double-digit scorer on the squad, which has worked since the team is leading the CAA in scoring defense with a low allowed average of 62.6 ppg.
With the top two defenses in the league taking the floor, easy buckets will be at a minimum. Northeastern showed GMU can be beaten if Wright is contained, but that is easier said than done. Drexel does have a few capable defenders and an adept backcourt, which should make this one a hard-fought bout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Drexel 65, George Mason 61
01/31 10:32:52 ET