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Posted In News - By Alan Kelly On Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 With 0 Comments


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Tonight, George Mason (4-5) looks to build a three-game home winning streak as they host the Panthers of Northern Iowa (5-2) at 7pm at EagleBank Arena and televised nationwide on American Sports Network. In the first game of their Virginia tour, Northern Iowa lost at Richmond on Saturday, 82-67, to end a five-game winning streak which included a home victory over then-#1 North Carolina on November 21.

Four UNI players average double figures in scoring, led by senior guard Wes Washpun, who averages 15.4 points and 6.4 assists. Rebounding is very much a team effort for the Panthers, with 6’5″ wing Jeremy Morgan leading the way at 6.1 boards, to go along with 12.6 points per contest. UVA transfer Paul Jespersen adds 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds.

The Panthers, out of the Missouri Valley Conference, have become familiar opponents for the Patriots in recent years, beginning with the Patriots’ February 2011 ESPN BracketBuster 77-71 victory in Cedar Falls that helped punch their at-large ticket to the NCAA tournament. The Panthers got their revenge in the BracketBuster return game, winning 82-77 in overtime in December 2012.

Following the success of that ESPN-arranged series, George Mason and Northern Iowa agreed to a four-year home-and-home, which began in 2013 and is expected to conclude with a Patriots visit to Cedar Falls next season. The Patriots got a 76-70 win in Fairfax in February 2013, and followed up with a painful 71-65 loss in Iowa a season ago, leaving the all-time series tied 2-2.

Saturday’s 63-44 Patriots win over Penn was the 400th career victory in the career of George Mason head coach Dave Paulsen, a career that has spanned Divisions I, II, and III.

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About - Alan Kelly is a 2010 and 2013 graduate of George Mason University and a former member of the Patriot Platoon. He had the memorable experience of being in the middle of the college decision process as George Mason's Final Four run unfolded. He currently resides in Northern Virginia.

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