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George Mason-Villanova Preview

Nov 19, 2009 - 4:16 AM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

George Mason (2-0) at Villanova (2-0), 2:00 p.m. EDT

Following two dominating performances at The Pavilion to open the season, Villanova looks to continue that success on the road this week.

The fifth-ranked Wildcats try to open 3-0 for the third straight season Thursday when they face George Mason in the opening round of the third-annual Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan.

Coming off the program's first Final Four appearance since winning the 1985 national championship, Villanova (2-0) opened the 2009-10 season with Friday's 84-61 win over Fairleigh Dickinson and a 103-65 victory over crosstown-rival Pennsylvania on Monday.

Led by freshman Maalik Wayns' 16 points off the bench, six Wildcats scored in double figures as Villanova won its 30th straight at The Pavilion.

"We kept playing well," said coach Jay Wright, who didn't call a timeout all game as his team led by as many as 48 in the second half. "If we stopped playing, I kept thinking of calling a timeout. We kept playing. It was fun to be a part of that."

Villanova, which has six players averaging in double figures, made 58.7 percent of its shots from the field against the Quakers - its best effort since making the same percentage in a 102-84 win over then-No. 10 Marquette on Feb. 10.

Wildcats senior guard Scottie Reynolds hit 5 of 10 from the field and had 14 points Monday to move past Alex Bradley for 14th place in scoring in program history. Reynolds, who has 1,642 career points, needs seven to move past Paul Arizin for 13th place and 11 to top Curtis Sumpter for 12th.

Villanova's last game versus George Mason came in the semifinals of an early-season tournament as Reynolds hit three 3-pointers and scored 21 in an 84-76 victory on Nov. 23, 2007. The Wildcats have won all three meetings versus George Mason.

The Patriots (2-0) also arrive at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico for the first of four straight away from home. George Mason is looking to build off Sunday's 60-44 victory over Dartmouth - its 18th straight home win.

Sophomore forward Ryan Pearson scored 12 of his career-high 19 points in the first half and finished with 10 rebounds. Teammate Mike Morrison posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

Coming off the bench for the second straight game, freshman forward Luke Hancock scored 12 points in 27 minutes. Hancock, averaging 11.5 points on 58.8 percent shooting, was named the Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the week on Monday.

"In the scrimmage against Georgetown, the exhibition game against Virginia State and in our first two games, (Luke has) been able to do some things consistently well that obviously has earned himself some playing time," Patriots coach Jim Larranaga said.

George Mason held a 46-31 rebounding advantage against Dartmouth, but it could be more difficult to achieve that success versus Villanova, which is outrebounding its opponents by an average of 14.5.

Junior forward Antonio Pena leads the Wildcats with 10.0 rebounds per game.

The Patriots' only victory against a top-five team was an 86-84 overtime win over then-No. 2 Connecticut on March 26, 2006, in the NCAA regional final.