George Mason (2-2) vs. Quinnipiac (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center (14,538) -- St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: George Mason 1-0, Quinnipiac 0-1. Away Record: George Mason 0-1, Quinnipiac 1-0. Neutral Record: George Mason 1-1, Quinnipiac 1-1. Conference Record: George Mason 0-0, Quinnipiac 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Quinnipiac Bobcats will try to recover from a grueling loss in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam when they battle the George Mason Patriots for third-place honors at the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.
Heartbreak was also the feeling for George Mason in the semifinal round. The Patriots allowed a five-point lead with less than 20 seconds to play slip away and lost 70-69 to New Mexico on a 3-pointer from Tony Snell with less than two seconds remaining. Gorge Mason has alternated wins and losses through the first four games.
As for Quinnipiac, the Bobcats gave No. 23 Connecticut all it could handle but ran out of gas down the stretch and eventually fell 89-83 in double overtime. The loss evens the Bobcats' record at 2-2.
This will be the first meeting between these squads on the hardwood.
It may take awhile for George Mason to get past its loss to New Mexico. Although it was a tight affair with eight ties and 11 lead changes, the Patriots never trailed the entire second half until Snell's game-winning 3- pointer. George Mason wasted an 11-of-23 shooting performance from beyond the arc and a 41.4 percent shooting effort overall. Sherrod Wright was sensational in the contest with 22 points, including a 5-of-7 showing from 3-point range.
The Patriots have pretty much fought to even in more ways than just wins and losses. The Patriots own just a +0.2 scoring differential through four games by scoring 60.0 points a contest while allowing 59.8. A real weak point has been on the glass with the Patriots bringing down only 28.5 boards a game. Wright is the focal point of the offense with a team-leading 16.8 points per game scoring average. Wright hasn't just scored a great deal of points but has done so while shooting a high percentage (.550). Wright is especially strong from beyond the arc where he has knocked down 9-of-17 shots. As far as a second option goes, Johnny Williams (11.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has filled that role.
Quinnipiac will also be tested in its resolve after a difficult loss. The Bobcats led by 10 points with less than five minutes remaining in regulations but crumbled down the stretch. In the first overtime, it looked as if the Bobcats were done for but Dave Johns nailed a 3-pointer with four seconds left on the clock to force a second extra session. However the upset bid ended there with Quinnipiac outscored 12-6 in the final overtime period. Johnson was the lead scorer in the contest with 16 points.
This season the Bobcats have held their own offensively speaking, scoring at a healthy 75.2 points per game clip while connecting on 45.9 percent of their field goals. Defense has been another matter with the Bobcats surrendering 75.8 points per game to their opponents. Three different players are scoring in double figures. Ike Azotam (14.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg) is the top scorer as well as rebounder and a threat to post a double-double on a nightly basis. Johnson (11.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 5.5 apg) contributes in a variety of ways beyond scoring while Garvey Young (10.2 ppg) and Jamee Jackson (9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) have also been productive out of the starting five. Ousmane Drame (7.8 ppg) is the top reserve.
Whichever one of these teams can recover best from its semifinal loss will have a huge advantage. Although Quinnipiac proved it can compete at a high level it exerted a ton of effort and also played in the latest game of the day, meaning George Mason will be fresher.
Sports NEtwork Predicted Outcome: George Mason 72, Quinnipiac 68
11/19 10:42:40 ET