Gmason 28 41 69
Nmexico 28 42 70
Date of game: 11/18/2012

George Mason (2-1) vs. New Mexico (2-0) (ET)

GAME NOTES: The New Mexico Lobos continue their quest into the top 25 as they square off with the always dangerous George Mason Patriots in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Patriots are 2-1 after their narrow 52-49 win over the Mercer Bears in the first round of the tournament on Friday. GMU shot 47.6 percent from the floor despite missing all eight of its three-point attempts. Neither side led by more than a single basket throughout the closely fought battle. Sherrod Wright came up in the clutch with 12 second half points. The Patriots opened up their season with a surprising victory over Virginia before they were taken down by a talented Bucknell Bison squad.

New Mexico's program is on the rise under Steve Alford's watch. The former NBA guard took over as head coach in 2007 and led the team to 22 wins or more every season since. The Lobos finished at the top of the Mountain West Conference with a 28-7 overall record and a 10-4 mark in league action in 2011-2012. They seem to be destined for the 22-win plateau once again after a pair of strong performances to open this year. New Mexico took down the defending Southern Conference champion Davidson Wildcats by five points in its season opener before downing Illinois-Chicago in a much more low-scoring affair in the first round of the tourney. The Lobos have shown already they have the versatility to play at different speeds, which makes them nearly impossible to prepare for.

This will be the first time in history these two programs square off on the hardwood.

Wright is leading the Patriots this season on the offensive end of the floor with 15 ppg on 57.1 percent shooting from the floor. The junior guard is a pure scorer with slashing and outside shooting abilities. Junior forward Johnny Williams is a key asset for GMU as he brings a post presence to the table. The 6-8, 240-pound forward paced the team versus Mercer with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Bryon Allen (8.7) and freshman forward Marko Gujanicic (6.0) are third and fourth on the team in scoring.

The Lobos have a very talented player in the backcourt of their own in Kendall Williams. The junior point guard is a below average shooter from the floor, but he has the ability to get by defenders and to the rim where he is consistently drawing fouls. Williams is making 12.5 free throws per game and scoring a team-high 20 ppg. He is also adding five rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest. Junior guard Tony Snell is a capable backcourt companion for Williams. Snell is second on the team with 16 ppg despite being held to seven points by UIC.

George Mason has played the role of giant killer in the past, but the Lobos are on the rise right now. New Mexico needs to force the Patriots to get out and run to build a wide margin, as George Mason is not a run-and-gun team.

GAME NOTES: The New Mexico Lobos continue their quest into the top 25 as they square off with the always dangerous George Mason Patriots in the semifinals of the Paradise Jam at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fact Stats

FACTS & STATS: Site: UVI Sports and Fitness Center (4,000) -- St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: George Mason 1-0, New Mexico 1-0. Away Record: George Mason 0-1, New Mexico 0-0. Neutral Record: George Mason 1-0, New Mexico 1-0. Conference Record: George Mason 0-0, New Mexico 0-0. Series Record: First meeting.

Game Date and Time

Sunday, November 18, 6 p.m. (et)

Predicted Outcome

New Mexico 68, George Mason 60

NASCAR News
Kurt Busch begins NASCAR's process for reinstatement

Kurt Busch has agreed to NASCAR's terms and conditions for reinstatement after he was suspended indefinitely for domestic violence allegations on Feb. 20.

Blue Jays sign Viciedo to minor league deal

The Toronto Blue Jays signed veteran slugger Dayan Viciedo to a minor league contract on Sunday and will give him a chance to make the team in spring training.

Harden suspended 1 game for kicking James

The NBA has handed Houston Rockets guard James Harden a one-game suspension for kicking fellow All-Star LeBron James in the groin during Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rangers extend Zuccarello

Ending days of speculation ahead of Monday's trade deadline, the New York Rangers and forward Mats Zuccarello have agreed to a contract extension.

Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
 
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.