George Mason wraps up homestand Wednesday vs. UMass

george masonGeorge Mason (10-4, 0-1) culminates its four-game homestand with a contest vs. Massachusetts (10-4, 0-1) Wednesday in Fairfax.

Tip-off inside EagleBank Arena between the Patriots and Minutemen is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday’s game will be streamed on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network. Bill Rohland will call the game live, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

* The Patriots saw their nine-game win streak come to an end Friday, as VCU powered past Mason, 73-64, in the A-10 opener for both teams.

* Five Patriots scored in double figures in the contest, led by Jalen Jenkins. The redshirt-senior posted 12 points (6-8) in just 21 minutes, after sitting the majority of the first half in foul trouble.

* VCU won the rebounding battle, 42-31, Friday, on the strength of 16 offensive boards. It marked just the first time in the past seven games Mason did not out-rebound its opponent.

* Mason only got to the line eight times against the Rams (6-8 FT). The Patriots are 8-0 when they make 15 free throws, but just 2-4 when they make less than 15.

* The nine-game winning streak had been the Patriots’ longest since since the team rattled off 16 in a row in 2010-11.

* The Dec. 22 win over Prairie View A&M gave Mason 10 non-conference victories. It marks just the second time since 1983-84 the Patriots have captured 10 wins during the regular season non-conference schedule (Note: excludes post-season wins).

* Sophomore Otis Livingston II has made a school-record 34 consecutive free throws. The streak broke the previous record of 27 set by Rob Rose during the 1985-86 campaign. Livingston is second in the nation in free throw percentage (.976) this season.

* Senior Marquise Moore posted 10 points and six rebounds vs. VCU, but was held scoreless in the second half while being limited by a groin injury.

* After Wednesday’s contest vs. UMass, three of the Patriots’ next four games will be on the road.

 

STARTERS STEP UP, BUT BELIEVE IN THE BENCH!

Much of Mason’s production this season has come from its starting lineup. The Patriots’ reserves play just 27.9 percent of the team’s total minutes, and that number ranks 286th nationally. A total of 78.5 percent of the team’s scoring output comes from the team’s starting five. Mason’s bench has been outscored in eight of 14 games this season, but when the group of young players wins the battle, the Patriots have found success. Mason is 5-1 when it wins the bench battle and 5-3 when the reserves are outscored.

 

HISTORY vs. MASSACHUSETTS

Wednesday’s game marks the fifth all-time meeting between UMass and George Mason in men’s basketball. UMass leads the series 3-1 and has won both of the previous meetings held at EagleBank Arena. In last season’s matchup, UMass won in Fairfax, 70-64 on Feb. 21. Otis Livingston II led the Patriots with 15 points and five assists in the contest, while DeAndre Abram (13) and Jalen Jenkins (10 pts, 6 reb) also scored in double figures.

 

A LOOK AT THE MINUTEMEN (10-4, 0-1 A-10)

UMass was picked to finish 10th out of 14 teams in the 2016-17 Atlantic 10 preseason poll. The Minutemen posted a 10-3 non-conference record – highlighted by wins over Temple (70-67) and Harvard (70-66) – before dropping their A-10 opener to Saint Bonaventure (89-77) Friday in the Mullins Center. Massachusetts leads the conference in both FG% defense (.388) and 3pt FG% defense (.304) this season. Junior Donte Clark leads the team in scoring (15.6 ppg) and dishes out 3.6 assists per game. Freshman Luwane Pipkins chips in 11.4 ppg and is sixth nationally with 3.0 steals per contest. Senior center Rashaan Holloway leads the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg) and adds 10.2 points per game.

 

UP NEXT

The Patriots hit the road for the first contest of a two-game trip. Mason will play at Saint Bonaventure on Saturday (January 7) at 5 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network. The Patriots wrap up the trip with a contest at Saint Joseph’s next Wednesday (Jan. 10).


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