Obviously when William & Mary hosts Georgia State Saturday night, one side will emerge victorious. Regardless of the team, they will do so for the first time this season.The Tribe (0-4, 0-2 CAA) have been close to tasting the thrill of victory with three losses coming by a combined seven points, including the season opening 7-6 defeat at Maryland. The televised (Comcast SportsNet, 7:00 p.m.) and first-ever meeting against the Panthers (0-4) is certainly an opportunity to break on through to the winning side.Coach Jimmye Laycock's squad looks to rebound after last week's 51-21 loss at Delaware and snap the program's longest losing streak to open a season since 1981. Though handled in phases by the then FCS No. 12 ranked Blue Hens - Delaware scored on offense, defense and special teams - William & Mary sophomore quarterback Raphael Ortiz threw for a career-high 262 yards. That mark could fall against a Panthers defense allowing 286 passing yards per game. Ortiz has thrown only one interception this season and leads the CAA with 14.1 yards per completion.Offense has not been the Tribe's strength - ninth among CAA teams with 14.5 points per game - though that could change against a Panthers' defense allowing a CAA-high 39.2 points. Leading rusher Meltoya Jones sat out the Delaware loss due to injury after running for a touchdown and career-high 90 yards against Towson. Defensively the Tribe rank fifth in the conference, allowing 329 yards per game while a special teams spark comes from punt returner B.W. Webb (19.1 yards per return, 6th nationally).While William & Mary have been lacing them on the gridiron for 118 seasons, Georgia State's program is in its infancy, playing its third season on a varsity level. Those early steps come with lots of wobbles, even with the program guided by longtime and former Alabama and Georgia Tech coach Bill Curry, who is stepping down from his post after the season.Unlike W&M, Georgia State has not participated in a nail biter this season as its closest game came last week, a 35-14 loss to Richmond in the Panthers first CAA opener. Next season Georgia State moves up to the FBS level as a member of the Sun Belt conference. Despite the affiliation with the CAA this season, the Panthers record does not factor in conference standings.Against the Spiders, running back Donald Russell topped the century mark for the second time this season with 119 rushing yards. The former Kentucky transfer averages 6.3 yards per carry and ranks third in the conference with 95.8 yards per game.Quarterback Ben McLane has thrown two touchdown passes and is averaging 124 passing yards per game.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Justin Jackson scored 20 points to help No. 10 North Carolina beat No. 14 Virginia 65-41 on Saturday night, keeping the Tar Heels alone in first in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Kennedy Meeks had all of his 13 points and seven rebounds after halftime for the Tar Heels (23-5, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). They shot 47 percent and led by double figures nearly all night against the ice-cold Cavaliers.
UNC led 34-22 at halftime, never let Virginia closer than nine then ran off 10 straight points to take a 25-point lead and send the Cavaliers to their first three-game skid in a single season in six years.
Marial Shayok scored 13 points to lead Virginia (18-8, 8-6), who went 10 minutes without a basket at one point during the second half and missed its first 17 3-pointers for the game as the Tar Heels turned it into a rout.
Virginia shot 28 percent for the game and finished at 2 for 20 from 3-point range to go with a season-low point output, with every missed shot becoming magnified as the Tar Heels stayed in attack mode.
It was also was the second-lowest point total by an opponent in UNC's Smith Center, just a basket better than Clemson's 39 points here in 1995.
UNC finished with a 44-26 rebounding advantage, with much of that edge coming after halftime behind Meeks.
Virginia: The Cavaliers offered up a worst-case scenario Saturday night. If Virginia's defense can't rattle an opponent, the Cavaliers' limited offensive punch gives them little margin for error.
UNC: This was one of several tough games for UNC coming down the regular-season stretch. Winning this rematch of last year's ACC Tournament championship game by a lopsided margin has to be a boost to an already confident team.
Virginia: The Cavaliers return home Monday night to host Miami.
UNC: The Tar Heels have another big home game, hosting No. 8 Louisville on Wednesday night.
BY TYLER BYRUM
FAIRFAX, VA – Coming down the final seconds of the game, Rhode Island was able to hold off a resilient George Mason squad after blowing an 18-point lead in the second half to win, 77-74.
Stanford Robinson scored a team-high 21 points off the bench in a homecoming affair for the Paul VI Catholic High School graduate. From behind the arc, Robinson was a perfect 3-for-3 and brought down two huge offensive rebounds late in the contest.
In the final minute though, it was Robinson who gave the Patriots hope as he missed two free throws with less than two seconds left in the game.
Grabbing his fifth rebound of the contest to go along with 22 points, Jalen Jenkins threw up a full-court heave that was just a foot wide of the basket.
From the onset, Rhode Island (17-9, 9-5) had the size advantage but was going against the NCAA’s best rebounding guard, Marquise Moore. Bringing down 31 rebounds, 14 being offensive, the Rams scored 13 pivotal second chance points. Moore, though, would manage to record his 17th double-double of the season (19 points, 10 rebounds).
This was Moore's fourth straight double-double, which is helping his case as one of the favorites for the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
E.C. Matthews was another one of the Rams to rack up the points in EagleBank Arena. With 18 points on 15 shots, Matthews kept the Rams alive after the team allowed the Patriots to go on a 21-3 run.
The Rams consistently shot over the Patriots with five players recording a three-point basket. In the first half, the team shot 54 percent from behind the arc and had rolled to a 39-26 lead at the break.
George Mason (18-9, 8-6) was able to climb back after an insurmountable 18-point deficit minutes into the second half. Highlighting the scoring run, Otis Livingston II (nine points and seven rebounds) was able to hit a fadaway to bring Mason within four and the crowd to their feet.
Throughout the contest, the Patriots drew 23 fouls and made 31 of their 36 free throw attempts. This kept numerous Rams in foul trouble and forced Dan Hurley to go deep into his bench and use 11 players.
“That was one that we needed desperately,” Hurley said “We’ve done a lot of soul searching; we’ve also dealt with a lot this year.”
The victory gives Rhode Island a much-needed win after falling to Fordham 53-43 earlier in the week. Moving up to third place in the Atlantic 10, the Rams now use the momentum from this game in order to climb back in the NCAA tournament bubble.
Falling in this game, George Mason now is on the outside looking in for one of the conference’s coveted double-byes in the conference tournament.