Featured Video from Scott Steehn
For our Top Plays of the Day, check out the Fab Five:
The George Mason Patriots will be trying to get back on the winning track when they visit the Rhode Island Rams at the Ryan Center on Sunday evening. George Mason had won two in a row before falling to Davidson earlier this week. The Rams have alternated wins and losses over their last seven contests after most recently defeating Richmond on Wednesday.
George Mason is coming off a 61-56 setback against Davidson on Wednesday. The Patriots held Davidson to 36.7 percent (22-for-60) shooting and a 4-of-29 (.138) effort from three-point range, but they managed only 32 percent (16-for-50) and 2-of-20 (.100) themselves in those respective categories. Junior Justin Kier led George Mason with 26 points and 12 rebounds against the Wildcats. Kier, the reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, has posted at least 12 points in nine straight games and has recorded double-doubles in five of the past six contests. In conference action, he leads the A-10 in rebounding (13.3 rpg) and is second in scoring (19.7 ppg). Kier is one of just six players nationally who averages 14-plus points, 6-plus rebounds, 2-plus assists, and 2-plus steals per game. Defensive stopper Javon Greene has held SJU’s Charlie Brown, St. Bonaventure’s Courtney Stockard, and Davidson’s Kellan Grady to a combined 40 percent (18-for-45) shooting overall and 19 percent (4-for-21) from three-point range.
George Mason has held its last six opponents to less than 65 points; that is the longest such streak by the Patriots since a six-game such run in 2010. Over the past six games, GMU is holding its opponents to 58.2 ppg and a 36.3 percent (123-for-339) shooting mark. Opponents averaged 75 points and shot 47.3 percent over the first 10 games of the 2018-19 campaign. George Mason is 6-2 this season when holding opponent less than 70 points.
Tate the great
Rhode Island freshman Dana Tate has been making a big impact of late, averaging 10.0 points and 7.3 rebounds over his last three games. For the season, Tate has a plus-minus of plus-8.63 per 40 minutes, the top prorated plus-minus on the team. In Wednesday’s win at Richmond, he was plus-13 in 22:18 of action. Over his last six appearances, Tate is shooting .586 from the floor (17-of-29), including 7-of-12 from three-point range. In the first eight games of the season, he shot .333 overall (9-for-27) and was 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. Tate has also hit the glass in recent times, averaging 7.3 rebounds over the last three contests.
"He knows every single spot on the court…He knows everybody’s job and he holds these guys accountable."
An inside look at what makes Jeff Dowtin one of the most poised and prepared players in the country. 🐏🏀📚📓🔥
— Rhody MBB (@RhodyMBB) January 10, 2019
As a team, Rhode Island has dished out at least 10 assists in five straight games. In the first nine contests of the year, the Rams reached the 10-assist mark on just four occasions. Over the last seven games, sophomore Fatts Russell is averaging 4.83 assists per game; junior Jeff Dowtin is distributing 4.57 apg.
The Rhode Island Rams are:
- 9-4 ATS in their last 13 home games against teams with road winning percentages under .400
- 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against George Mason
- 4-0 Under in their last four home games
The George Mason Patriots are:
- 4-17-1 ATS in their last 22 games against teams with winning records
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a loss
- 4-0 Under in their last four overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rams have won five in a row against George Mason, including an 83-64 victory last season–in which Dowtin had nine points and eight assists. In that meeting, Rhode Island dished out 24 assists on 32 made baskets. The Rams are shooting .433 from the floor, well above the team’s .415 percentage from last season. Rhode Island is 6-2 ATS the last eight meetings between the two teams.
Prediction: Rhode Island Rams
Full-Game Total Pick
This may not be a favorable matchup for Georgia Mason’s offense, as it pits strength against strength. The Patriots rank third in the conference in three-point shooting at 33.2 percent, but Rhode Island is second in defending three-pointers at 29.0 percent allowed. Fortunately for the Patriots, they have been playing plenty of defense in recent weeks. The under is 4-0 in the Patriots’ last four overall, 4-1 in their last five on the road, and 4-1 in their last five on the road against opponents with winning home records. It is also 4-0 in the Rams’ last four at home, 6-2 in their last eight against the Atlantic 10, 5-2 in their last seven following a win, and 9-3 in their last 12 at home against opponents with losing road records. Look for this one to stay under the total.