The Washington Post

George Mason-Towson preview

George Mason vs. Towson

Where: Patriot Center. When: 4 p.m. TV: Comcast SportsNet.

Records: Patriots 14-5, 6-1 CAA; Tigers 0-19, 0-7.

Outlook: The Patriots have won more games this week than the Tigers have since December 2010. Cheap shot? Probably. But Towson has dropped 38 straight, a Division I record, and is staring at a winless season after finishing 4-26 last year. The Tigers haven’t celebrated a CAA victory since the 2009-10 regular season finale and have never beaten the Patriots since joining the league 10 years ago. Nonetheless, GMU Coach Paul Hewitt is guarding against overconfidence: “If we are going to be a championship-level team, it doesn’t matter who you play.” After a slow start this season, the Patriots are rounding into form with seven victories in eight games to claim a share of first place in the CAA with Old Dominion. They’ve shot better than 54 percent and scored 89 points in each of the past two games to increase their CAA-best shooting percentage to 47.5 and scoring average to 71.5. The Tigers are last in both categories: 36.5 percent and 48.9 ppg. In league games, Towson has scored 50 points just once: against the Patriots in a 65-53 home loss on Dec. 3. On that night, Tigers sophomore G Marcus Damas (11.5 ppg) scorched the Patriots for 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, including four three-pointers. Towson was 8 of 17 on three-pointers in that game. GMU senior F Ryan Pearson, a CAA player of the year candidate, is averaging 17.8 points and 8.5 rebounds, while senior F Mike Morrison is tied for first in the CAA in field goal percentage (61.2) and fifth in blocked shots (2.1).

— Steven Goff

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