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Sunday night showdown at Northeastern

George Mason Basketball: Sunday night showdown at Northeastern

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday night showdown at Northeastern

George Mason is at Northeastern tonight for a rematch against the first place Huskies. Last time around the Patriots played their worst conference game in a home loss to the Huskies and their perimeter defense was greatly exposed. Since then Mason's defense has been tighter on the perimeter and their offense has started to show some consistency. Bryon Allen being in the starting lineup will give the Patriots a much better look in the beginning of the game against these guys. He makes them tougher to defend on offense and he's been a solid defender these last three games. NU's Jonathan Lee will give Mason headaches again but they have to be careful to not let their attention wonder on defense. It killed them last time around when they allowed a freshman to have a big night. Tonight's game isn't a battle for first place but it is an important one. A Huskies win means they will be controlling the CAA race down the stretch. 

Fouling is still a major problem for Mason but despite that they continue to hold their opponents to low shooting numbers from the field. Now they are facing the CAA's best offense and a team that doesn't send their opponents to the line much. Don't expect the Patriots to get as many free-throw attempts as they did against Towson and Hofstra. They will have to make up those points in other areas and this where Marko Gujanicic needs to keep his hot shooting streak going. 

Northeastern's defense hasn't been great this season but their conference leading offensive efficiency has masked that. They have won 7 straight conference games by overwhelming their opponents on offense, as Mason saw first hand when they dropped 84 on them at the Patriot Center earlier this month. Mason's offense on the other hand has looked much improved due to a rotation that includes Bryon Allen and Corey Edward sharing the court with Sherrod Wright. If they play like they did against Towson, attacking the basketball, the Huskies will have trouble making stops. In the beginning of their last meeting Mason had success going at their front court. They abandoned the strategy and lost guys to foul trouble. Might they try that early approach again tonight? Johnny Williams might get the ball early.

Mason has a chance to redeem themselves tonight and can win with discipline on defense. If they limit the fouls this will be a good, close game. I just hope they team we have been watching over the last couple of games shows up tonight.

[Photo by John Powell]



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