Preview: George Mason basketball vs. Old Dominion

February 3, 2012

George Mason vs. Old Dominion

Where: Patriot Center. When: 5 p.m. TV: ESPNU.

Records: Patriots 18-6, 10-2 CAA; Monarchs 15-9, 10-2.

Outlook: With three weeks left in the regular season, two of the four teams tied for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association collide in front of what is expected to be a sellout crowd of almost 10,000. The other front-runners have lighter assignments. Is it vital to finish first? Not really. The top four finishers will receive first-round byes in the CAA tournament. Nonetheless, the league leaders want to build momentum heading into the event. The Patriots’ momentum was halted Wednesday at Delaware, 65-60, ending a six-game winning streak. A day later, the Monarchs won their fourth straight and eighth in the past nine by defeating James Madison, 80-71. In that game, senior F Chris Cooper (Forest Park High) claimed 22 rebounds, tying him for the second-largest haul in the nation this season. In the first meeting between the Patriots and Monarchs, George Mason ended an eight-year drought in Norfolk with a 63-54 victory on Jan. 5. Senior F Ryan Pearson, the CAA’s third-leading scorer and fifth-best rebounder, had 16 and 14 respectively. GMU has won six of the past seven meetings with ODU in Fairfax.

— Steven Goff

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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