FAU Looks to Snap Two Game Skid Against Patriots
What: Florida Atlantic (3-3, 0-0) vs George Mason (3-2, 0-0)
When: Saturday, Nov. 27th @ 4:00 PM EST
Where: Patriot Center
Live Video: Mason Digital Network
Internet Broadcast: Here
Live Stats: Patriots GameTracker
George Mason Team Site: Here
G Alex Tucker 12.3 ppg
G Dennis Mavin 11.8 ppg
G Greg Gantt 16.2 ppg
F Kore White 9.7 ppg
F Brett Royster 7.0 ppg
G Andre Cornelius 9.4 ppg
G Cam Long 13.0 ppg
F Ryan Pierson 12.2 ppg
F Luke Hancock 13.0 ppg
F Mike Morrison 6.4 ppg
Saturday marks the first ever meeting between the two programs.
FAU at a Glance
After a 2-0 start, the Owls have dropped their last 3-of-4 with one of the toughest stretches in the schedule now at hand.
FAU lost to Florida last Tuesday 79-66 in a contest that was relatively close until late when foul trouble became a factor.
Regardless, strong out of conference play is a part of the master plan for Head Coach Mike Jarvis. In talking with him over the Summer, he was up front in the fact that scheduling revolves around playing teams in desired recruiting markets which also afford growth opportunity to become a legitimate mid-major.
"They (George Mason) are a perennial NCAA team", said Jarvis after the UF loss. "That's what we are trying to do, we're trying to get to that level. We've got a lot of work to do...but I think we are certainly up for the task."
Florida Atlantic continues to shine in turnover margin where they enjoy a +4.83 advantage over opponents.
The Owls are also spreading point production out nicely thus far, with six players seeing 7.0 ppg or higher.
George Mason at a Glance
The Patriots, who have won have won three Colonial Athletic Association titles under Jim Larranaga, are most notably recognized for their 2005-06 NCAA Final Four appearance; one which included a former Owl in Sammy Hernandez, who transferred to FAU afterwards.
GMU is on the second of a five game home stand after last knocking off Radford 81-55. Three Patriots (Long, Cornelius, & Ryan Pearson) were in double figures at the hands of a healthy 13-of-26 from long range (50.0%). Conversely, George Mason held the Highlanders to a paltry 6-of-22 (27.3%).
"Our message after the last two games, was that we needed to improve our defense", said Patriots head coach Jim Larranaga on the performance. "We talked about how important it was to keep opponents under 40.0%."
Bench scoring continues to be a concern for the Patriots. However their starting five has two frontcourt talents in big men Morrison and Pierson, and a lethal shooter in Long (47.3% FG) in the back court.
A win against the Owls would allow George Mason to finish above .500 in November for the eighth straight season.
GMU is 5-1 all time against current members of the Sun Belt (Troy 3-0, FIU 2-0, UALR 0-1).
Owl's Nest Prediction
Until they prove they can play post defense for forty minutes, the Owls will continue to struggle against teams that have formidable big men.
FAU is taking care of the ball, and that will factor into the equation. A win is not out of the question, but a close loss is most likely the result Saturday; with the Owls keeping it tighter than the line.
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