[PREVIEW] Mason finishes non-conference schedule against Univ. of South Florida

The George Mason Patriots face their final non-conference team at 7 p.m. when they take on the University of South Florida Bulls from the Big East conference.  

Mason (7-4) is coming off a nail-biting win against the Richmond Spiders (9-4), where junior guard Sherrod Wright hit a buzzer-beating three to lead the Patriots to a 67-64 victory over the Atlantic 10 team.

Wright is on fire lately, averaging 16.9 points per game, and was just named CAA player of the week for the second time this season. Wright is the Patriots’ go-to scorer, and in the last three games has hit 23 of 32 shots overall with nine of 12 coming from behind the arc.

The Bulls (7-3) are coming off of an 87-84 win over the Bowling Green Falcons. Their strength is in the frontcourt with 6’8” senior Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, averaging 12.7 points per game. The other frontcourt hotshot to watch out for is potential future NBA draft pick Victor Rudd. Rudd leads his team in rebounds, averaging 8.1 per game and provides a strong presence in the paint.

This will be a tough final non-conference match up for the Patriots. The Bulls have returned four of its top five scorers from a NCAA Sweet Sixteen team.. At this point in the season, every team is fighting for that RPI booster and for the Patriots, with quality wins over the University of Virginia and Richmond this season, a win in this away match-up will be another boost to the resume.

Photo by John Irwin