WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m.
WHERE: EagleBank Arena – Fairfax, Va.
RECORDS: George Mason (7-7, 0-1), Dayton (12-6, 4-1)
FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason University men’s basketball team returns to Fairfax to begin a three-game homestand on Saturday against Dayton.
Tip-off between the Patriots and Flyers is set for 7 p.m. Saturday’s contest will be televised regionally on MASN and broadcast nationally on ESPN+. Bill Rohland will handle play-by-play duties while Craig Esherick will provide color commentary. In addition, Steve Kolbe will call the game on the GoMason Digital Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.
• Mason opened A-10 play with a narrow 77-76 setback at GW on Monday in Foggy Bottom. The Patriots led 72-59 with 6:09 to play, but the Colonials closed the game on an 18-4 run to take the win.
• Graduate student D’Shawn Schwartz led Mason with 27 points (10-20 FG), just two off his career high. He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists. It marked Schwartz’s fourth-straight game in double figures and his fourth contest with 20+ points this season.
• Junior Davonte Gaines added his second-straight double-double (10 pts, 11 reb) to go along with a career-best three assists. Gaines ranks second in the A-10 in double-doubles (5) and rebounding (8.2 rpg) this season.
• Graduate student DeVon Cooper added 13 points and made 3-of-4 3pt FG. He’s shooting 59.1 percent (13-22) from beyond the arc over the past four games.
• Mason shot 52.6 percent (30-57) against the Colonials. The Patriots rank 28th nationally in effective FG% (.547), 29th in 2pt FG% (.554) and 66th in 3pt FG% (.359) this season.
• The Patriots committed 13 turnovers at GW which led to a +15 (20-5) edge in points off turnovers for the Colonials.
• Mason is 5-0 when winning the turnover battle this season and 2-7 when committing more than its opponent. In losses this season, Patriot foes average a +8.4 scoring margin in points off turnovers.
• Junior Josh Oduro ranks second in the A-10 and 28th nationally in field goal percentage (.590). He is one of just four players in the country this season to average 17 or more points, shoot 58 percent or better from the floor and tally at least 1.5 blocks per game. Oduro did not play on Monday at GW (lower leg injury).
• Mason struggled from 3 at GW (4-16, .250). The Patriots shoot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc in wins this season and just 31.2 percent in losses.
• Point guard Xavier Johnson is averaging 5.8 assists over the past four contests. He’s seventh in the A-10 in assists/game (4.4) and eighth in A/TO ratio (1.83) this season.
• Schwartz is just 10 3-pointers away from 200 for his career. He would become just the sixth player who’s worn a Mason uniform to reach the 200-triple milestone.
• Three of Mason’s next four games and five of its next seven will be played inside EagleBank Arena.
• After playing just three games in 27 days from Dec. 21 to Jan. 17, Mason will now play three games in five days, beginning with the contest at Dayton.
HISTORY vs. DAYTON
Saturday’s matchup marks the 14th all-time meeting between Mason and Dayton. Dayton holds a 10-3 advantage in the series, including three of the past five matchups. The Flyers have won seven of nine meetings in A-10 play and hold a 4-2 edge in games played at EagleBank Arena. The programs also played a four year home-and-home series from 2007-2010, before the Patriots joined the A-10 in 2013-14. Mason traveled to Ohio twice last season and fell by the same score (74-65) on February 5 and January 2.
A LOOK AT THE FLYERS (12-6, 4-1 A-10; KenPom 68, NET 75)
Dayton was picked to finish fifth in the 2021-22 Atlantic 10 preseason poll. The Flyers put together a roller coaster of a non-conference slate, with wins over Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech and Belmont, and losses to UMass-Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay. The Flyers are coming off a 68-50 triumph over preseason A-10 favorite St. Bonaventure Tuesday in UD Arena. Dayton is allowing just 0.967 points/possession (63rd nationally). On the offensive end, the Flyers shoot 56.3 percent from 2-point range (15th nationally), with 55.0 percent of their points coming from inside the arc. Three Flyers average double figures, led by DaRon Holmes II, who tallies 11.6 points per game, shoots 66.7 percent from the floor and ranks 30th in the country with 2.5 blocks per contest. Toumani Camara adds 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while Malachi Smith chips in 10.0 points and ranks 34th nationally with 5.2 assists per game.
COURTESY GEORGE MASON ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS