George Washington at George Mason
Where: Patriot Center.
When: 7 p.m.
Radio: WFED 1050 AM.
Records: Patriots 4-2, Colonials 2-3.
Outlook: Just 19 miles separate the campuses, but until last season's meeting at Smith Center, the programs had not played each other for 11 years. The Colonials dominated the renewal against the short-handed Patriots, building a 20-point lead early in the second half and coasting to a 66-49 victory. This year's meeting favors George Mason, and not just because the game is in Fairfax, where the Patriots are 3-0. Jim Larranaga's squad has rediscovered its groove after a pair of losses at the Charleston Classic, routing Radford and Florida Atlantic. Sophomore G-F Luke Hancock leads a balanced starting lineup by averaging 13.2 points, 5.3 points and 4.7 assists. The Patriots have shot 54 percent from the field in the past two games and are at 48 percent overall. Their free throw shooting (63 percent) remains a concern, however, and Larranaga has had to rely on his starters for more production than he had hoped. The Colonials lost at home Monday to UNC Wilmington, one of the weakest teams in the CAA, and fell to visiting Hampton, from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, last week. While GW is shooting just 36 percent from the field, Nemanja Mikic, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward, is coming off a 23-point performance against UNCW in which he made seven three-pointers, one short of the program record. Overall, he is 17 of 36 from that distance. Junior G Tony Taylor is averaging 14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
- Steven Goff