Thursday, September 15, 2011

The schedule report: George Mason

Another in our serious of breakdowns on recently released 2011-12 schedules:

On the marquee

Maryland at George Mason, Dec. 11

   - A rare opportunity for the Patriots to host a (likely) Top-25 team; in fact, it's the first time since Maryland came to the Patriots Center on Dec. 22, 2005 and left with a 70-33 victory. Patriots fans had better come out in force, too, or the Terrapins' hefty fan base (5,161 per game in 2010-11) will have that building sounding like a mini-Comcast Center.

Get your tickets early for....

Old Dominion at George Mason, Dec. 4

- The Patriots were extremely competitive in both meetings with ODU last season (the games were decided by a combined 5 points) and will be catching the Lady Monarchs less than a month into their regular-season life with a new coach. Not saying it's going to be easy - far from it - but the Patriots should go into this game with more confidence than any Mason team has ever felt against a program that has won 48 of the 49 meetings.

Food for thought

- Mason plays its first two, four of its first six and six of its first nine non-conference games at home. The Patriots are 12-1 in non-conference home games the past two years.

- The Patriots' second opponent, Oakland (Nov. 13), will also tour the nation's capital as part of a political learning experience. The previous week, the school is hosting a Republican presidential debate.

- The season opener is Nov. 11 against American. Last season, the Eagles rallied from a double-digit deficit to nip the Patriots 46-43 at American.

- Patriots freshman Rachel McNair won't mind the trip to Stony Brook (Nov. 21), as the school is about 70 miles from her Nyack, N.Y. home. If Stony Brook plays anything like it did at the Patriot Center last season, the Patriots won't mind, either - Mason rolled to a 74-48 victory.

- The CAA Tournament runs March 8-11 at the neutral-site Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md. for the second straight year.

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