George Mason takes on Georgia State; GW hosts Harvard

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Saturday, January 15, 2011; 1:20 AM

George Mason vs. Georgia State

When: 2 p.m. Where: Patriot Center. TV: Comcast SportsNet.

Records: Patriots 11-5, 3-2 CAA; Panthers 8-7, 3-2.

Outlook: The Patriots are ecstatic to be home after playing six of seven on the road and enduring a blizzard in Boston on Wednesday before their 86-60 victory over Northeastern. They will face a Georgia State team that lost at surging James Madison on Thursday, 79-67, in a game that had been postponed a day earlier because of travel issues. Mason (7-0 at home) hopes to continue its torrid shooting after the fourth-best performance in program history vs. Northeastern: 67.3 percent, the highest in 25 years. Junior F Ryan Pearson, who had a career-high 24 points, is averaging 14.4 points and 5.6 rebounds and shooting 56.3 percent. Sophomore G-F Luke Hancock leads the CAA in assists (4.9). Georgia State, which has defeated JMU and Virginia Commonwealth, is next to last in free throw shooting (56.7) among 335 Division I teams; only one regular is shooting better than 66 percent. The Patriots have beaten the Panthers in all three meetings in Fairfax but only by an average margin of five points.

- Steven Goff

George Washington vs. Harvard

When: 2 p.m. Where: Smith Center. Radio: WFED (820 AM, 1500 AM).

Records: Colonials 10-6; Crimson 11-3.

Outlook: Both teams are on a roll as they head into their final nonconference game of the season. The Colonials have won five in a row and eight of their last nine. The Crimson is on a four-game winning streak that includes an impressive victory over Boston College. The teams share several common opponents. They both lost to George Mason but beat Holy Cross and Fordham. Harvard defeated Boston University, while GW lost to the Terriers. Since he joined the starting lineup five games ago, Dwayne Smith has emerged as a scoring threat for the Colonials. The sophomore forward has scored in double figures in four of the five games he has started and is the only GW player other than Tony Taylor with a double-figure season scoring average (10.1 points per game). Harvard has several ties to the D.C. area. Coach Tommy Amaker is a Falls Church native who played at W.T. Woodson. Assistant coach Kenny Blakeney grew up in the District and attended DeMatha. Assistant coach Brian DeStefano played for his father Paul at St. John's in Washington. Sophomore guard Christian Webster, the 2009 All-Met Trilling Award winner, graduated from Landon. Webster's father, Darryl, played for GW, while his cousin Bobby Winston played at Georgetown.

- Kathy Orton


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