George Washington (2-3) at James Madison (1-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: JMU Convocation Center (7,156) -- Harrisonburg, Virginia. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: GW 1-2, JMU 0-0. Away Record: GW 1-1, JMU 0-3. Neutral Record: GW 0-0, JMU 1-1. Conference Record: GW 0-0, JMU 0-0. Series Record: George Washington leads, 6-2.
GAME NOTES: The James Madison Dukes will finally make their home debut as they host the George Washington Colonials for a non-conference tilt at the JMU Convocation Center.
The Colonials have alternated losses and wins since falling to Youngstown State in their season opener. Coach Mike Lonergan looked like he might end that trend after his team dominated Hofstra to pick up an 80-56 win over the Pride, but George Washington followed the impressive victory with a 65-56 loss to Mount St. Mary's, which dropped its record to 2-3 overall. Over its past four outings, GW has averaged 76 ppg in its two wins and just 52 ppg in the two losses.
Coach Matt Brady's team has dug itself in a 1-4 hole before its Harrisonburg debut. The Dukes began the season with a 30-point loss at UCLA, which they followed with a tough overtime setback at Duquesne. JMU found its first win of the season by outlasting Youngstown State for a one-point win in the Progressive Legends Classic, but it took a step back by losing by widespread margins to North Dakota State and Miami-Ohio its last two times out. The team has averaged just 51 ppg during its current two-game losing slide.
This will be the ninth meeting between these teams since the rivalry tipped- off in 1975. GW owns a 6-2 edge in the all-time series, but the Dukes managed to leave the nation's capital with a 62-57 win in last season's collision.
Ball movement is the key for GW. The team looked great versus Hofstra as 10 players contributed to the team total of 26 assists. However, the assist total dropped to 12 the last time the Colonials took the floor, and they also committed 25 turnovers in that contest to basically hand Mount St. Mary's the contest. Senior guard Lasan Kromah is coming on as of late for GW. After scoring 22 points in his first three games, the swingman has averaged 16.5 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the floor. Isaiah Armwood is nearly contributing a double-double with 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest and freshman Kevin Larsen is also increasing his role as he has scored in double- digits the last two games while shooting 11-of-14 from the floor during that time. He also grabbed a career-high nine boards in the loss to Mount St. Mary's.
JMU needs to improve on both ends of the floor. In its lone win, it held Youngstown State to 44 percent shooting and made 45.5 percent of its own field goal attempts. But the Dukes' opposition is converting 52.1 percent from the field including 42.9 percent from three-point range on the season. They are being outscored by an average of 14.2 ppg and outrebounded by 3.8 rpg as well. Senior forward Rayshawn Goins is leading the team with 16.8 points and nine rebounds per contest so far while freshman guard Andre Nation is producing a second best 10.4 ppg. Senior guard A.J. Davis has been a disappointment so far. After finishing fourth in the CAA in scoring with 15.9 ppg last season, Davis is netting only seven points per contest on 29.7 percent shooting.
The Dukes may have help on the way as forward Andrey Semenov is nearing a return. Semenov played two minutes in the season-opener at UCLA before suffering an injury that has kept him sidelined since.
Mount St. Mary's used an active trapping defense to force GW into 25 turnovers the last time the Colonials were in action. JMU will try to replicate that winning formula, but Davis needs to snap out of his slump as the Dukes' are in need of more offensive production.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: James Madison 68, George Washington 65
11/28 10:33:18 ET