Saint Louis Billikens at George Mason Patriots
When/Where: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET, EagleBank Arena, Fairfax, Va.
Spread: GMU -16
It looks to be a major mismatch on paper Saturday afternoon in Atlantic 10 Conference action when Saint Louis, easily the worst team in the league and the only one without an A-10 victory, visits George Mason. You can check it out on the NBC Sports Network.
Billikens Facing Long Season
SLU (4-12, 0-4 A-10) has lost four straight and has two wins in its past 13 games: over Chicago State and SIU Edwardsville. The Billikens were competitive on Wednesday in a 73-66 loss at Duquesne. The game had six ties and seven lead changes. Senior forward Reggie Agbeko came off the bench to lead the Billikens with 18 points – two points shy of his career best. Agbeko was 8-of-11 from the field and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Davell Roby scored 14 points for Saint Louis, while junior guard Aaron Hines chipped in nine. Freshman forward Jalen Johnson, who earned his first career start, scored nine points (eight in the first half). The Dukes, who shot 52.3 percent from the field, closed the game on an 8-2 run.
Over the last three games, Roby is averaging 13.7 ppg and is shooting 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field, 57.1 (8-of-14) percent from 3-point range and is perfect from the free-throw line (7-of-7). Agbeko scores 9.9 ppg and is second in the Atlantic 10 with 8.1 rpg. His 55.3 percent shooting mark from the field is sixth in the A-10. He has four double-doubles on the season. Sophomore guard Jermaine Bishop leads the Billikens in scoring with 11.6 ppg but has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury and won’t play here. Junior Aaron Hines has filled in and is third on the squad with 10.3 ppg in A-10 play.
Patriots Honoring 1988-89 Team Saturday
George Mason (12-5, 2-2 A-10) got a solid 75-67 win at injury-ravaged Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday. GMU trailed by one (32-31) at the half and with 2:37 to play (61-60), but Mason shot 60.9 percent (14-for-23) in the second half and outscored the Hawks 15-6 over the game’s final minutes. It was GMU’s first ever victory over Saint Joseph’s in five all-time games between the teams. Senior Marquise Moore posted game highs in points (24), rebounds (10), assists (7) and steals (4). He became just the second player in Mason history to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in a career. Sophomore Jaire Grayer hit double figures (11 pts, 4-8 FG) for the fourth-straight game and grabbed six rebounds in 34 minutes. Freshman Karmari Newman added 10 points, while sophomore Otis Livingston II chipped in 10 points and hit a big 3-pointer late in the second half.
Moore averages a double-double at 18.4 ppg and 10.5 rpg. He is seventh in the league in scoring and first in rebounding. Senior Jalen Jenkins leads the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (.650) and is second in offensive rebounds/game (2.8). He has posted 10+ points in three of four A-10 contests. Mason is shooting 40 percent (28-70) from 3-point range in conference play and limiting opponents to 26.6 percent (21-79). The defensive mark is tops in the A-10. The Patriots lead the A-10 and rank 40th nationally in 3-point field goal defense. In addition, Mason leads the conference in 3-point field goal defense in league games (.266). GMU’s 1988-89 team (first team to make NCAA Tournament) will be honored during Saturday’s contest at the under-8 minute media timeout of the first half.
- Billikens are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 games following a ATS win.
- Billikens are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Billikens are 7-19 ATS in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Billikens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Patriots are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Patriots are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
The Billikens lead the series 4-3, and own a 2-1 advantage in games played in Fairfax. Three of the seven meetings between the teams have gone to overtime. Last season, Saint Louis won two of three games between the teams, including an 83-78 victory in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings, but that trend ends.