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|Game Day Information - Game 27 at George Mason|
|When:||Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 4 PM
|Where:||Fairfax, Va. | Visitor's Center|
|Broadcast:||TV: CSN-MA, CSN-NE, CSS, TCN-P | Watch Online | Listen Online | Live Stats|
|Tickets:||GoMason.com | Order Online|
|Game Notes:||William and Mary | George Mason | CAA
|Season Stats:||William and Mary | George Mason | CAA|
||Tribe vs. Georgia State (Feb. 18) | Tribe at Old Dominion (Feb. 16)|
||CAA Hoops Scoop | CAAHoops.com|
News and Notes
- George Mason leads the all-time series with the Tribe at 38-27, including a 73-66 victory in Williamsburg earlier this season. W&M has won two of the last four meetings in Fairfax, claiming wins in 2007 and 2010.
- Over the last four games, junior guard Brandon Britt is averaging 19.5 points and 3.3 assists per game, while shooting 59.5 percent from the floor and 60.9 percent from 3-point range.
- Sophomore guard Marcus Thornton, who was named the CAA Player of the Week for the third time on Feb. 11, ranks second on the Tribe's single-season 3-pointers made list with 79. He leads the CAA in both 3-pointers made (3.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (43.2), which ranks 12th nationally in threes made and 22nd in percentage.
- W&M is 4-2 during the month of February, shooting 53.4 percent from 3-point range and 48.8 percent from 3-point range, while averaging 17.5 assists per game.
Scouting George Mason
The Patriots sit at 16-11 on the year and 9-6 in CAA play, following a 79-50 victory over Hofstra in its last contest on Feb. 20. Like the Tribe, Mason is 4-2 during the month of February with wins on the road at James Madison, Old Dominion and Drexel to go along with its most recent win at Hofstra.
Mason is one of the top defensive teams in the CAA. The Patriots rank second in the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to 63.6 points per game. They are also second in field goal percentage defense at 40.1 percent and fourth in 3-point percentage defense (32.9). The Patriots have been even better in CAA play in 3-point defense, limiting foes to 29.7 percentage from deep. Offensively, Mason leads the league in scoring margin at +2.8, while ranking third in field goal percentage (43.9), fourth in 3-point percentage (34.6) and fifth in free throw percentage (71.6).
Junior Sherrod Wright is the Patriots top player, averaging 17 points per contest, which ranks fourth in the CAA. He scores in a variety of ways, ranking among the top 10 in the CAA in field goal percentage (47.6) and free throw percentage (79.7), while also hitting 1.3 3-pointers per game and shooting 36.1 percent from long range. Junior Jonathan Arledge, who led the Patriots with 20 points at Hofstra, ranks second on the team at 7.7 points per game, but has really been on a tear of late. He is averaging 10.2 points per game in CAA play, while leading the league in free throw percentage at 89.8 percent in conference contests only. Sophomore forward Erik Copes leads the Patriots and ranks 15th in the CAA in rebounding at 5.6 per game, while coming in seventh in league action at 1.3 blocked shots per contest. Junior guard Bryon Allen and sophomore Corey Edwards are the two creators for the Mason attack, both ranking among the top 10 in the CAA in assists. Allen is fifth at 3.7 per contest, while leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.4. Edwards averages three assists per game, which is eighth in the CAA.
Mason leads the all-time series with the Tribe at 38-27, including a 73-66 win over W&M in Williamsburg earlier this season. W&M led by four at the half and six early in the second, before Mason rallied behind 59.1 percent second-half shooting and 28 points from Sherrod Wright. The Patriots won the last meeting in Fairfax, 70-56, last season.
Changing Over the Calendar to February
After winning just one game during the month of January, the Tribe has turned the page nicely into the month of February, posting a 4-2 mark during the second month of the 2013. Leading the way to W&M's turnaround February has been its explosive offensive. Over the six-game stretch, W&M is shooting the ball at an extremely high level, hitting 53.4 percent (151-of-283) from the floor, including four contests of better than 50 percent and its best shooting effort since 2006. During the month of February, the Tribe is also shooting a remarkable 48.8 percent (61-of-125) from 3-point range, hitting 10.2 triples per game. W&M is hitting at a 78.7 percent (85-of-108) clip from the free throw line over the month to go along with 17.5 assists per game and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.43. In the Green and Gold's 92-86 win over UNCW, the Tribe shot 60.9 percent (28-of-46) from the floor, including a 68.4 percent (13-of-19) clip in the second half. The shooting percentage was the best for the Tribe since Feb. 4, 2006 when it connected on 63.3 percent (31-of-49) in a win over Georgia State. W&M also posted shooting percentage of 56.8 (25-of-44) vs. Hofstra on Feb. 2, 53.2 (25-of-47) at James Madison on Feb. 6 and 57.8 (26-of-45) vs. Georgia State on Feb. 18 during the month.
Britt Returning to the Starting Lineup
After coming off the bench in five games when W&M shook up the starting lineup during January, junior Brandon Britt returned to the starting rotation against Northeastern on Feb. 11 and has been on a tear since. Over the last four games, the Chesapeake, Va., native is averaging 19.5 points and 3.3 assists per game, while shooting 59.5 percent (25-of-42) from the floor and 60.9 percent from 3-point range (14-of-23). He scored a game-high 18 points against the Huskies, before hitting 8-of-10 from the floor on the way to 22 points and a career-high six assists in the win over UNCW. Britt scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half, propelling the Tribe to the early advantage in a win at ODU. In the victory over Georgia State, the 6-2 guard poured in a game-high 20 points, hitting a career-best 6-of-8 from 3-point range. His six 3-pointers are tied for the 10th-best single-game total in school history.
Increased 3-Point Production
The Tribe has increased its 3-point production recently, including a few of the top 3-point performances in school history. Over the last five games, W&M is hitting 11 3-pointers per game, shooting 50.9 percent (55-of-108) over the stretch. In its victory over UNCW on Feb. 13 and against Georgia State on Feb. 18, the Tribe shot two of the top six 3-point percentages in school history. Its 66.7 percent (12-of-18) against the Panthers tied for the second-best effort in school history, while the 57.1 percent (12-of-21) from deep vs. the Seahawks equal to the sixth-best percentage in program annals. On Feb. 6, the Tribe hit 14 3-pointers at JMU, marking the fifth-best single-game total in school history. The Tribe currently leads the CAA in 3-pointers made per game (7.3), including 8.4 tripes per CAA game, and ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage (36.9). W&M is 75th nationally in 3-pointers made and 85th in 3-point percentage, as Feb. 17.
In four of the Tribe's last five games, the Tribe has hit double-digit 3-pointers, giving it seven contests of 10 or more treys on the season. The Tribe has shown a propensity in recent seasons to knock down 3-pointers in bunches. During head coach Tony Shaver's tenure, W&M connected on double-digit treys 61 times. The Tribe is 33-28 under Shaver when connecting on 10 or more threes in a game. Of those 61 games, 52 have come over the last five years with W&M posting a 28-24 record. This season, W&M hit a season-high 14 3-pointers at James Madison, while also connecting on double-digit threes on the road at Old Dominion (10), Towson (13) and Northeastern (10). At home, the Tribe pulled the trick against Georgia State (12), UNCW (12) and Salisbury (11).
Thornton Named CAA Player of the Week for Third Time
Sophomore Marcus Thornton was named the CAA Player of the Week for the third time this season on Feb. 18. He became just the second CAA player, along with Towson's Jerrelle Benimon, to win the league weekly award on three occasions in 2012-13 and the first W&M player to win the league's weekly honor on three occasions in a season. Thornton also took home the award on Nov. 12 and Dec. 3. During the week, he averaged 23.3 points per game, while shooting 50 percent (14-of-28) from 3-point range and 90.9 percent (20-of-22) from the free throw line to lead W&M to wins over UNCW and at Old Dominion. After scoring 25 points vs. UNCW, Thornton registered a career-high 32 points on seven 3-pointers and 11-of-12 from the free throw line, propelling the Tribe to a win at ODU. He earned the award on Dec. 3 after averaging 22.5 points, including a game-high 23 points in the win over ODU and 22 points at Richmond. Thornton earned his first weekly honor on Nov. 12, sharing the accolade with Mason's Bryon Allen. Thornton led all scorers with 24 points, including a 6-of-9 effort from 3-point range, in the 69-51 win over Hampton on Nov. 9.
Shaver Sets Program Wins Mark
With a 74-62 victory at Old Dominion, Tribe head coach Tony Shaver became the program's all-time winningest coach. The W&M head man picked up his 114th career victory surpassing the previous mark held by Bill Chambers, who coached in Williamsburg from 1957-66, amassing 113 victories. A two-time CAA Coach of the Year, Shaver entered the 2012-13 season ranked 25th nationally among active Division I head coaches in victories. He currently owns 473 career victories in his 26th season roaming the collegiate sidelines.