Reviewing George Mason-James Madison, the lone game Tuesday involving a team from Maryland, Virginia or D.C. ...
Marko Gujanicic, George Mason
The freshman found himself at the right time Tuesday, and wound up piecing together the Patriots' first double-double since Nov. 16.
Yes, the Patriots could use some help in the frontcourt, especially at the offensive end. And frankly, Gujanicic is as good a candidate as anyone.
Erik Copes remains further along on defense. Jonathan Arledge played only two minutes Tuesday, mainly because he struggles against the press. Johnny Williams has an interesting skillset but hasn't scored 10 points in a game since Thanksgiving weekend.
Gujanicic has struggled some as well, and it probably isn't fair to expect him to be a potent scorer every night. But Mason needs steady offense from someone other than Sherrod Wright, and a few solid games from Gujanicic could fill in the gaps on occasion.
It's back to .500 for the Dukes, who have a habit of simply checking out of games for a few minutes at a time.
Matt Brady's team was the superior bunch for 30 minutes, but made the mistake of letting Mason linger just a little too long. Some of that is a credit to the Patriots, who adapted on defense in the second half and didn't let the Dukes loose from the perimeter.
Nonetheless, it never seemed like Mason was headed toward a double-digit victory, at least until the Patriots uncorked a 10-0 run over a stretch of 2:21 to seize a 59-50 lead. Take that out, and it was a tossup. But there's no throwing that spurt away for the Dukes, who fell to 9-9 overall and 3-2 in the CAA.
NUMBER OF NOTE
Record for George Mason against James Madison since the 2004-05 season. The Patriots have won the last eight meetings between the teams. In addition, Mason has won 10 straight and 14 of 15 against the Dukes at the Patriot Center.
ON TAP WEDNESDAY
Let no one complain about the options inside the Beltway alone on Wednesday night.
No. 14 N.C. State (14-2, 3-0 ACC) visits College Park --- perhaps for the last time --- to take on reeling Maryland (13-3, 1-2). ... In a classic Catholic Seven showdown, Providence (9-7, 1-3 Big East) travels to Georgetown (11-3, 1-2). ...
In another potentially final visit from a long-time conference foe, Temple (11-4, 1-1 Atlantic 10) heads to Foggy Bottom to play George Washington (7-8, 1-1). ... Despite those three games, the contest expected to draw the most NBA scouts was Lehigh-American --- at least until C.J. McCollum's broken foot earlier this month. ...
Over in Annapolis, Navy (6-11, 0-1 Patriot) seeks to end a five-game skid as Holy Cross (8-8, 0-1) heads to Alumni Hall. ... Further afield, Towson (8-9, 3-1 CAA) makes the short trip to Delaware (8-8, 3-0), while UMBC (3-14, 1-3 America East) plays host to Hartford (10-7, 3-1).
--- Patrick Stevens