George Mason travels to Northeastern as CAA race winds down

February 21, 2012
George Mason at Northeastern

Where: Matthews Arena, Boston.

When: 7 p.m.

Internet: Game televised at ESPN3.com.

Records: Patriots 23-6, 14-2 CAA; Huskies 12-15, 8-8.

Outlook: After a weekend pause in the fierce Colonial Athletic Association race, the Patriots will make their final push for the top seed in the conference tournament with regular season finales at Northeastern and Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday. George Mason and Drexel are tied for first, with VCU a game behind. Drexel will host James Madison (4-12) and visit Old Dominion (12-4), while VCU will travel to UNC Wilmington (5-11) before welcoming the Patriots. The top three teams have already secured first-round byes in the CAA tournament. The Patriots have won five in a row, 11 of 12 and 16 of 18; Northeastern has lost five of six, the victory coming against one-win Towson. George Mason is allowing opponents to shoot just 38.8 percent, tied for 19th in the nation. On Saturday, however, Lamar shot 47.4 percent, the second-highest figure against the Patriots this season. Senior F Ryan Pearson continues his strong campaign for CAA player of the year by averaging 17.8 points and 8.6 rebounds. Sophomore G Sherrod Wright, the team’s sixth man, averaged 13 points in the past four games and has converted 38 of 40 free throws over 13 games to improve his CAA-best overall percentage to 86.8. Huskies junior guard Joel Smith made 11 of 18 three-pointers in two games last week and is averaging 12.3 points, second on the team to junior guard Jonathan Lee’s 14.1.

— Steven Goff

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