Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
: Mason (8-8, 2-1), Rhode Island (8-6, 1-1)
Mason trails, 3-5
URI def. Mason, 84-63, on Dec. 30, 2017 in Kingston, R.I.
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LIVE AUDIO: GoMason Digital Network
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GAME NOTES: Click here (PDF)
FAIRFAX, Va. -
The George Mason University men's basketball team (8-8, 1-0) begins a two-game road swing through New England Sunday with a 5:30 p.m. contest at Rhode Island (8-6, 1-1).
Tip-off between the Patriots and Rams is set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday's game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network. Ryan Burr will handle play-by-play duties, while David Kaplan will provide color commentary. In addition, "Voice of the Patriots" Bill Rohland will call the game on the GoMason Digital Network, with streaming audio commencing at 5:15 p.m.
* Last time out, Mason dropped a 61-56 contest to Davidson Wednesday night. The Patriots held the Wildcats to 36.7 percent (22-60) shooting and 4-of-29 (.138) from deep, but could only manage 32 percent (16-50) and 2-of-20 (.100) from beyond the arc on the offensive end.
* Mason has held its last six opponents under 65 points. That's the longest such streak by the Patriots since a six-game sub-65 streak from Nov. 24-Dec. 11, 2010.
* Over the past six games, Mason is holding its opponents to 58.2 ppg and a combined 36.3 percent (123-339) shooting mark. Patriot foes averaged 75 points and shot 47.3 percent over the first 10 games of 2018-19. Mason is 6-2 this season when holding its opponent under 70 points.
* Junior Justin Kier
led Mason with 26 points and 12 rebounds vs. Davidson. The CSM A-10 Player of the Week has posted at least 12 points in nine-straight games and has notched double-doubles in five of the past six contests. In A-10 play, he leads the league in rebounding (13.3 rpg) and is second in scoring (19.7 ppg).
u Kier is one of just six players nationally who averages 14+ points, 6+ rebounds, 2+ assists and 2+ steals per game.
* A-10 All-Defensive Team candidate Javon Greene
has held SJU's Charlie Brown, SBU's Courtney Stockard and Davidson's Kellan Grady to a combined 40 percent (18-45) overall and 19 percent (4-21) from 3-point range.
* Mason has shot 47.9 percent from 3-point range and 48.6 percent overall in road games this season. At home, the Patriots are at just 44.6 percent overall and 27.7 percent from beyond the arc.
* This season, Mason holds a -1.5 average scoring margin in first halves, but is +6.0 in second halves.
14+ POINTS, 6+ REBOUNDS, 2+ ASSISTS, 2+ STEALS
Junior Justin Kier
is one of the most versatile players in the nation and has taken that versatility up a notch in A-10 play. At 6-feet-4-inches, he is one of just six players nationally to average at least 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals per game. That group includes probable 2019 No. 1 NBA Draft pick Zion Williamson (Duke).
Zion Williamson, Duke (20.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 spg)
Matt Rafferty, Furman (17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.3 spg)
Sandy Cohen, Green Bay (17.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 4.9 apg, 2.1 spg)
Justin Kier, George Mason (14.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.1 spg)
Cortez Edwards, Southen Miss (14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.1 spg)
Keith Braxton, St. Francis (Pa.) (15.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.2 spg)
HISTORY vs. RHODE ISLAND
Sunday's matchup marks the ninth all-time meeting between Mason and Davidson. The Rams hold a 5-3 advantage in the series and are riding a five-game winning streak. URI is 3-1 against the Patriots in South County. Rhode Island has won all of the Atlantic 10 contests between the schools. The Rams are the only A-10 program Mason has not defeated in conference play since joining the league. In the most recent matchup, the Rams opened their 2018 A-10 regular season championship slate with an 84-63 victory over the Patriots on Dec. 30, 2017 in Kingston. Justin Kier
(15 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast, 5-7 FG) and Otis Livingston II
(14 pts) led the Green & Gold in defeat.
A LOOK AT THE RAMS (8-6, 1-1 Atlantic 10; KenPom No. 103, NET No. 102)
Rhode Island was picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll. The Rams won the 2018 A-10 regular season title and defeated Oklahoma in the NCAA First Round. This season, URI welcomes back a number of key pieces from that squad, including potential all-league guard Jeff Dowtin, who averages a team-high 16.8 points and 4.2 assists per contest. Sophomore Fatts Russell chips in 14.7 points and 3.8 assists, while Cyril Langevine is at 13.6 points and a team-high 9.8 rebounds per contest. The Rams are a top-50 KenPom defensive team (0.949 points/possession, 42nd), but struggle particularly from the 3-point line, where URI is 345th nationally with a 27.2 percent clip. Mason will have to limit URI on the offensive glass, where the Rams gobble up a board on 32.0 percent of their possessions (73rd nationally).
The Patriots continue their road trip through New England with a Wednesday contest at Massachusetts. Tip-off in Amherst is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised in New England on 11 Sports/NESN+ and also will be available nationally on ESPN+.