George Mason Patriots at Charleston Cougars
Friday, 12/30/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN3
Opening Point Spread: Charleston -4
Current Betting Line: Charleston -3.5
Opening Total: 137
Current Total: 138
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
George Mason faces its final non-conference road test of the season and has alternated wins and losses over its last five games. The Patriots are coming off an 81-61 victory over the Manhattan Jaspers as 7.5-point home favorites. Defense is the key to victory for this program, allowing just 56.3 points on average in eight wins this season. The program ranks first in the Colonial Athletic Association in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to just 38.2 percent shooting from the floor. George Mason is 0-2 ATS as an underdog this season.
The Patriots are 3-6 all-time against current members of the Southern Conference, with al three wins coming against UNC Greensboro. George Mason is 0-3 against Charleston, including an 85-83 loss as five-point home favorites on Feb. 20, 2010. Offensively, the team has three players averaging double figures in scoring, with senior forward Ryan Pearson leading the way in scoring 18.3 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds per game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots are tied for 34th nationally in averaging 5.2 blocks per game.
Charleston returns to action after the holiday break and will play its final non-conference contest, coming off a 77-70 road win over Coastal Carolina. The Cougars nearly pulled off a massive upset in dropping a 69-62 decision to the Louisville Cardinals as 18-point road underdogs on Dec. 20. The team will put its 15-game home-court win streak on the line, using a seven-player rotation that’s led by leading scorer Antwaine Wiggins averaging 18.1 points per game. Charleston is 17-8 ATS at home over the last two-plus seasons.
The Cougars should anticipate a close contest Friday night, as the last two meetings between these two schools have been decided by four points or less. Wiggins will definitely look to score from beyond the arc, ranking ninth in school history with 141 career three-pointers. Since the TD Arena opened its doors in 2008, Charlest
on has registered an impressive 43-6 all-time mark on John Kreese Court. The Cougars are 4-1 this season against 2011 NCAA Tournament opponents.
Bettors will likely back the Cougars due to their 6-0 ATS mark versus CAA opponents, while the Patriots are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games.
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