George Mason Patriots News: Men’s Basketball has Saturday ESPNU Matchup with Flyers in Dayton

WHERE: UD Arena – Dayton, Ohio
WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m. 
RECORDS: George Mason (16-12, 8-7), Dayton (19-9, 11-4)
SERIES: Dayton leads, 10-4
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LIVE AUDIO: Click here
LIVE STATS: Click here
GAME NOTES:Click here (PDF)

FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason University men’s basketball team (16-12, 8-7) hits the road for a nationally-televised ESPNU contest at Dayton (19-9, 11-4) on Saturday night.

Tip-off between the Patriots and Flyers is set for 6 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU, featuring commentary from Mike Corey and Terrence Oglesby. In addition, Bill Rohland will call the game on the GoMason Digital Network, with streaming coverage beginning at 5:45 p.m.

• The Patriots have won three-straight games, including a 70-66 win over La Salle in the team’s most recent outing on Feb. 18 in Fairfax.

• Josh Oduro led the Patriots with a game-high 25 points (10-16 FG)  to go along with seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. He earned his second A-10 Player of the Week nod this season on Monday after averaging 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 steals, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in wins over the Explorers and GW.

• Oduro, a 2022 First Team All-A-10 selection, leads the league with 9.7 rebounds/contest in conference play, is fourth in scoring (18.3 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (.598). Oduro also paces the league in offensive boards/contest in A-10 play (3.53).

• Junior Ronald Polite III added 15 points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists in Saturday’s win. The point guard is averaging 14.0 points, 5.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds and shooting 45.5 from 3-point range over the past three games.

• The Patriots committed a season-low with seven turnovers against La Salle. Mason is now 6-2 when it has less turnovers than its opponent and 10-4 when committing less than 15 miscues. Although the Patriots average 13.8 turnovers/game this season, Mason is at just 7.5/contest over the past two games.

• During the Patriots’ three-game win streak, Mason is limiting foes to 62.0 points/game, 42.1 percent shooting and a 27.3 3pt FG mark. The Patriots also hold an average rebounding margin of +5.0. Oduro is averaging 23.7 points, 8.3 points and shooting 70.5 percent (31-44) during the win streak.

• Polite III is averaging 10.9 points, 4.9 assists and shooting 39.3 percent from 3pt range in true road games this season. Oduro leads Mason in scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 rpg) in road affairs.

• Oduro is just the fourth player in school history with 1,200 career points, 600 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 assists. He is just one point away from 1300 for his career and 10 rebounds away from 700.

The Patriots have been plagued by hand injuries this season. Defensive ace Davonte Gaines missed 10 games from Jan. 4-Feb. 4 due to a left hand injury. He returned on Feb. 8 vs. Duquesne. Immediately before Gaines’ return, fellow southpaw Victor Bailey Jr. also injured his shooting hand and has been out since Feb. 4. That’s proven difficult to adjust to for George Mason, as both players are key starters when healthy. Gaines is at 26.4 minutes/game, while Bailey has played 31.7 minutes/contest while shooting a league-best 47 percent (55-117) from 3pt range.

Saturday’s matchup marks the 15th all-time meeting between Mason and Dayton. Dayton holds a 10-4 advantage in the series, although the teams have split the past six matchups. The Flyers hold a 6-1 edge in games played at UD Arena. In addition to their league battles, the two programs also played a four year home-and-home series from 2007-2010, before the Patriots joined the A-10 in 2013-14.

Last season, Mason picked up a defensive-minded, 50-49 win in Fairfax on January 22, 2022. Mason held the Flyers to just two field goals over the final nine minutes and converted timely shots when needed down the stretch. The Patriots limited Dayton to just 31 percent from the floor and 5-of-23 shooting from 3pt range. Josh Oduro led Mason with 14 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two assists in the win.

A LOOK AT THE FLYERS (19-19, 11-4 A-10; NET #65, KenPom #60)
Dayton was picked to finish first in the A-10 preseason poll and currently sits in second place with an 11-4 league mark. The Flyers rank 35th nationally in defensive efficiency (0.959 points/possession) and lead the A-10 in scoring defense (60.5 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.388), 3pt defense (.281, fifth nationally) and rebounding margin (+5.9). A-10 Player of the Year candidate DaRon Holmes II leads the Flyers in scoring (17.7 ppg) and paces the A-10 in field goal percentage (.594, 27th nationally). He also pulls down 7.9 rebounds/contest and is second in the league in blocks/game (1.9). Toumani Camara adds 14.0 points/contest and leads the A-10 with 8.9 rebounds/game. He shoots 54 percent from the field.

George Mason returns home for its Senior Night contest vs. Fordham. Tip-off on Wednesday (Mar. 1) between the Patriots and the Rams is set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised on MASN and broadcast on ESPN+.