George Mason opened the season with a thrilling home court over a power conference program.
The Patriots next opponent, Bucknell, can make the same claim though with an on the road distinction.
On the same night Bryon Allen scored five points in the final minute to spur George Mason to a 63-59 over Virginia, the Bison pulled a 70-65 stunner at Purdue on Friday. Now the two mid-major schools square off Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) on the Bucknell campus in Lewisburg, Pa.
George Mason leads the all-time series 7-3, including a 61-57 win at the Patriot Center last season on the strength of a dominant edge at the free throw line. The Patriots powered their way to 25 attempts, making 19. The Bison finished 8 of 12.
Allen, named the co-CAA Player of the Week for his late-game heroics and scoring 13 points against the Cavaliers, stuffed the stat sheet against the Bison with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists - all without a turnover. Sherrod Wright scored 14 points.
Bucknell returns the core from last season's 25-win team that won the Patriot League regular season crown and reached the second round of the NIT. Senior center Mike Muscala, the 2010-11 Patriot League Player of the Year, pounded Purdue for 14 points and 10 rebounds while junior guard Cameron Ayers hung 18 points on the Boilermakers. Ayers torched the Patriots last season for 23 points, 18 coming after halftime with a stretch of seven consecutive made baskets.