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Looking Ahead To The Weekend

Nov 16, 2012, 1:33 PM EDT

Hofstra freshman Jimmy Hall

Eight of the league’s 11 teams are in action this weekend, with the majority of them taking part in tournament play.

George Mason faces Mercer on Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Paradise Jam. The Patriots, who are trying to bounce back from a road loss at Bucknell last Tuesday, are hoping to build their non-conference resume after starting the season with a win over Virginia. Mason will take on either New Mexico or UIC in the next round and the other side of the bracket features nationally ranked Connecticut, ACC member Wake Forest, Iona and Quinnipiac. Junior guard Sherrod Wright is averaging a team-high 15.5 ppg for the Patriots while shooting 60% from the floor.

UNCW has a tough Friday night challenge at Ohio University. The Bobcats return most of their top players from last year’s Sweet 16 squad. Senior forward Keith Rendleman is coming off a 14-point, 12-rebound effort at Richmond last Tuesday, which was the 23rd double-double of his career.

Hofstra hosts three consecutive games this weekend as part of the 2K Sports Classic. The Pride, which dropped back-to-back road games to start the year, meets South Dakota State on Friday, UDC on Saturday and Marshall on Sunday. Freshman Jimmy Hall tops Hofstra in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). Penn State transfer Taran Buie will see his first action of the year after serving a team suspension.

Towson heads to Richmond, Ky. for four games in four days at the Comfort Suites Invitational. The Tigers meet Radford, host Eastern Kentucky, Kennesaw State and Cincinnati Christian. In a season-opening loss at College of Charleston on Nov. 9, Towson got a team-high 23 points from Georgetown transfer Jerrelle Benimon and a double-double (15 pts/10 reb) from Providence transfer Bilal Dixon.

The CAA’s two remaining unbeaten teams return to the floor on Saturday. William & Mary will be looking for its first 3-0 start since 1992-93 when it visits High Point. The Tribe has relied on big second-half spurts in their two victories, going on a 23-4 run against Hampton and a 32-5 surge at Liberty.  The W&M trio of Brandon Britt (19.0 ppg), Marcus Thornton (17.5 ppg) and Tim Rusthoven (16.5 ppg) have accounted for better than 75% of the team’s points thus far.

Northeastern’s “cardiac kids” entertain Vermont at Matthews Arena. The Huskies, who have won their first two games on shots in the final seconds, rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit at Princeton last Tuesday. Sophomore Quincy Ford is averaging 19.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg after a career-best 27-point effort at Princeton. Sophomore forward Reggie Spencer is contributing 17.0 ppg while shooting a blistering 76.5% from the floor.

Old Dominion is back in action on Saturday afternoon with a difficult road test at Cleveland State. The Monarchs have been idle since going 1-2 in their own Liberty Tax Classic last weekend. Three newcomers have topped ODU in scoring thus far – freshman Keenan Palmore (10.0 ppg/7.7 rpg), N.C. State transfer DeShawn Painter (10.0 ppg/6.7 rpg) and freshman Aaron Bacote (9.3 ppg).

Drexel will try shake off back-to-back overtime losses as it takes on neighborhood rival Penn. Senior guard Chris Fouch is averaging 20.0 ppg off the bench and has made 10-of-21 from 3-point range this season. Junior point guard Frantz Massenat is chipping in 12.0 points and 8.0 assists per contest.

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