FAIRFAX, Va. - Georgia Southern held the lead the majority of the
game, but a layup from Kyana Jacobs with 12 seconds left sealed the 54-53 comeback
win for the George Mason women's basketball team Saturday afternoon. Janaa
Pickard recorded her third block of the game on Georgia Southern's final
possession to hold off the Eagles for the win. Mason improved to 5-5 with the
win, while Georgia Southern dipped to 1-9 on the season with the loss.
Amber Easter led Mason with 15 points and nine rebounds as the
Patriots' bench contributed 24 points to the win. Mason went 16-of-23 from the
free throw line and recorded 15 steals led by Jacobs' career-high seven.
For Georgia Southern, MiMi DuBose scored a game-high 22 points
followed by Anna Claire Knight with 11 points. Both teams finished with 37
rebounds as Sierra Kirkland led the Eagles with nine. Mason converted 23 GSU
turnovers into 22 points as the Eagles dished out nine assists in the contest.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half as Georgia
Southern used an early 10-0 run to take a 10-2 lead by the 15:25 mark. Mason
answered back, cutting the score to 12-11 following five points from Jacobs.
After building their lead back out to seven points, the Eagles were held
scoreless over the next two and a half minutes, allowing the Patriots to take
their first lead off a pair of free throws from Cierra Strickland as Mason led
19-18 with 7:09 on the clock.
The non-conference foes battled through several lead changes
before the visiting squad closed the period on a 10-3 run for a 32-26 lead at the
break. Mason shot just 33.3 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes
compared to GSU's 53.8 percent.
Both teams got off to a slow start out of the break before GSU
took a 13-point lead by 13:57 as DuBose scored the first nine points of the
half for the Eagles. Georgia Southern maintained a steady double-digit lead
over the next five minutes until Easter blocked a DuBose layup and hit a triple
on the other end of the floor to cut the score to 49-42 at the 7:55 mark.
Mason limited the Eagles to a jumper and free throw over the next
four minutes, using the drought from the Eagles to trim the score to one point,
52-51, on a jumper from Joyous Tharrington with 3:51 on the clock.
Maggie Davis hit the front end of a pair of free throws to give
the Eagles a two-point lead before Easter cut it back to one with a free throw
with 31 seconds left. Georgia Southern had an opportunity to take a three-point
lead as Davis missed two free throws with 26 seconds remaining, setting up the
layup attempt for Jacobs with 12 seconds to play. On their final possession,
the Eagles played the ball in to DuBose who was blocked on a layup attempt as
the clock wound down.
Mason opens the New Year welcoming back former Colonial Athletic
Association foe East Carolina to the Patriot Center on January 2. Tip is slated
for 7 p.m.