FAIRFAX, Va. - Richmond (15-9, 9-3) looks to continue its momentum with a tough road test at George Mason (17-8, 7-5) on Tuesday evening.
The Spiders have won two games in a row after a stellar defensive effort at La Salle on Saturday. Richmond held the league's top offense to a tie for its lowest scoring output of the year as the Spiders forced a season-high 24 turnovers.
T.J. Cline tallied his 11th 20-point game at La Salle. He has reached 20 points in six of his last seven outings.
Freshman De'Monte Buckingham has averaged 8.0 rebounds per contest over the last nine games.
Richmond is one of the best in the country inside the arc, where UR is shooting 55.4 percent from two-point range, ranking 14th in the country.
Just a year after ranking 267th in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense, the Spiders now rank 11th in the nation, holding opponents to 30.1 percent from long range.
The game will be broadcast on MASN and fans can stream the game for FREE on Facebook Live. Jason Knapp and Craig Esherick will be on the call.
The game will also be on the radio on ESPN 950 AM, 107.3 BBT, Sirius Satellite Channel 134, XM Satellite Channel 201 and streamed on RichmondSpiders.com.will call the action over the radio airwaves.
|2016-17 SPIDER MEN'S BASKETBALL GAMEDAY CENTRAL - GEORGE MASON
|Who||Richmond Spiders (15-9, 9-3) at George Mason Patriots (17-8, 7-5)|
|When||Tuesday, February 14, 7 p.m.|
|Venue||EagleBank Arena (10,000)|
|TV||MASN - Channel Finder | Facebook Live|
|On Air||Jason Knapp, Craig Esherick
|Live Stats||Click Here|
Scouting George Mason
The Patriots lead the league in rebounding with a +7.2 margin. They have been led by Marquise Moore and his 17.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Otis Livingston (15.4), Jalen Jenkins (11.7) and Jaire Grayer (11.2) all average in double figures. The Patriots give up 7.6 threes made per game, but hold opponents to just 41.7 percent shooting.
Series vs. George Mason
Richmond leads the all-time series 35-21, however George Mason has won four in a row and is 5-1 since joining the Atlantic 10. UR's last victory at Mason came in 1998. The Patriots have won six straight home games vs. UR since then.
The Spiders have been racking up Atlantic 10 Weekly Awards. UR swept the awards three weeks ago with Cline winning Co-Player of the Week and Buckingham earning his second-straight Rookie of the Week. Cline then won his fourth Player of the Week honor two weeks ago, the most of any player in the league.
Two weeks ago, Cline was tabbed by the USBWA as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week after his triple-double. It marked the first national player of the week honor for any Spider.
Cline was also named one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, given to a player that exemplifies leadership, community service, academic excellence and athletic success. The award will name the 10 finalists in February.
After coming close on three occasions, T.J. Cline finally broke through for the first-ever triple-double in school history against Duquesne. He scored 34 points with 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
It marked just the sixth time that any NCAA DI player has reached 30 points in a triple-double in the last 20 years. Of those six players, Cline was the only one to do it in regulation.
T.J. Cline is currently averaging 19.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Cline is the only player in the NCAA to post 19-8-5 in points, rebounds and assists. He has more assists than any player in the country his height or taller and ranks 11th in the nation with an assist rate of 38.9.
A preseason All-A-10 First Teamer, Cline ranks fifth in the league in points, second in rebounds and second in assists, making his case for Player of the Year honors.
Cline is putting together one of the best seasons in recent memory in rebounding as Charles Stephens (1997-98) was the last Spider to average over eight rebounds a game for an entire season (8.3).
Cline has tallied 10 double-doubles this season, more than any other Spider since 1987-88 when Peter Woolfolk tallied 13. He is second in the A-10 and 32nd in the country in double-doubles.
Batman and Robin
After his triple-double performance against Duquesne, Cline said it was all because his teammates made shots when he handed them the ball.
His partner in crime the past three years has been fellow senior ShawnDre' Jones. Jones also scored 30 points in UR's win over Duquesne, the first time a pair of Spiders have each scored 30 in a game in Mooney's tenure. Jones then followed it up with a gutsy 30-point effort at VCU.
Jones is averaging 17.2 points per game and 4.2 assists per game, ranking top 10 in the league in both categories. His assist-turnover ratio of 1.9 ranks fifth in the league.
Jones and Cline are the third-highest scoring duo in the Atlantic 10.
Jones became the first player in Richmond history to top 1,400 points, 300 assists and 200 three-pointers made.
Defending The Line
Richmond has done a fantastic job defending the three-point line this season. It's even more impressive considering the improvement from last year. Last season, Richmond ranked 267th in three-point defense. This year, the Spiders rank 11th in the nation by holding opponents to just 30.1 percent from long range.
The Spiders have always run an offense with constant motion and crisp passes that lead to shots in rhythm. Richmond is at its best when every player on the court is setting up someone else for a shot.
The Spiders lead the league in assists (16.6) and assist-turnover ratio (1.3). Richmond has dished more or same assists than the opponent in 20 of the season's 24 games. In Atlantic 10 play, the Spiders have averaged 17.8 assists per game.
UR ranks 11th in the country in assist-to-FG percentage of 62.7.
Against Rhode Island, Nick Sherod and De'Monte Buckingham became the first pair of freshmen starters in the Spider lineup since the 2007-08 season (Kevin Anderson, Kevin Smith).
The two have been a vital part of Richmond's success in A-10 play. Buckingham is averaging 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in A-10 play, while Sherod has 8.9 points and 2.0 rebounds.
Over the last nine games, Buckingham has averaged 8.0 rebounds per game. Sherod has reached double figures in four of the last six games. Buckingham won two A-10 Rookie of the Week awards.
Although quiet off the court, Khwan Fore can make a big statement on it. His rim-rattling dunks can make big statements when coming from a 6-0 guard. He had three such dunks in the second half at Dayton. He is Richmond's most athletic player pound-for-pound.
He exploded for a career-high 24 points against George Washington, scoring on dribble drives and pull-up jumpers at the elbow.
In A-10 play, Fore has averaged 11.8 points with 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He ranks ninth in the league with 1.6 steals per game.
In Richmond's four A-10 road wins, the Spiders have built leads of 18, 21, 18 and 15 points in the second half. In each instance, the home team has made it a one-possession game in the final 10 minutes. However, Richmond has been able to make winning plays in each instance down the stretch.
The Spiders are 14-1 when holding a lead with five minutes remaining. UR has overcome double-digit deficits in three of the teams' wins, and only given up a double-digit lead in a loss once to then-ranked Maryland.
In the last five minutes of games, UR has shot 48.8 percent from the field and 76.1 percent from the line. Jones leads the team with 4.4 points in the last five minutes of games.
Climbing The Record Books
ShawnDre' Jones and T.J. Cline continue to climb Richmond's all-time record book.
Cline has now scored 1,470 career points at Richmond, with Jones right behind him at 1,434. Adding his points from his freshman year at Niagara, Cline has totaled 1,722 career points.
Jones moved into sixth place all-time with 204 career three-pointers. Jones now also has 329 assists for his career, ranking ninth all-time.
With just six more points from Jones, he will move into 15th all-time in the career scoring list. Seven of the top 15 scorers have graduated since 2010.