FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason women's basketball team
dropped a 71-55 decision to James Madison Thursday night in the Patriot Center
in Colonial Athletic Association play. In the second game of a three-game
homestand, Mason was led in scoring for the second straight contest by Rahneeka Saunders.
Mason (6-11, 1-5 CAA) was led by Saunders with 14 points, a team-high eight rebounds and seven assists. The Patriots won the edge on glass, 33-31, and
outscored the Dukes off the bench, 21-14. JMU (11-7, 5-1 CAA) had four players
reach double-figure scoring numbers led by Precious Hall and Kirby Burkholder
each with 20 points. The Dukes hit seven three-pointers to Mason's three and
shot 44.4 percent from the field.
Mason opened the game with a triple from Saunders before
James Madison took the lead on a jumper from Hall at 15:19. The Dukes pushed
their lead out to five, 12-7, but Mason slowly chipped away at its deficit and
regained the lead using a 6-0 run as Melissa Collier put the Patriots back on
top with a bucket at 7:14 for a 16-15 lead. Mason continued its run and grabbed
a 19-15 advantage on a pair of free throws from Janaa Pickard at 4:47.
JMU scored the next six of eight points to knot the score at
21-21 with 2:25 remaining in the half. Collier drained a triple to give the
Patriots a three-point lead, but the Dukes closed the half on a 7-0 run for a
28-24 halftime advantage.
JMU carried its 7-0 run into the second half and opened the
final period with a 24-4 run to take a commanding 52-28 lead with 13:56 left to
play. Saunders cut the score to 56-37 at 9:40 before Burkholder converted an
old-fashioned three-point play for a 59-37 lead at 9:24.
Trailing 63-41, Mason used an 8-0 run over the next three
minutes to bring the score to 63-49 with 4:55 left to play. The conference foes
would exchange baskets over the final four minutes of action for the final
Mason closes out this three-game homestand welcoming
Georgia State to the Patriot Center on Sunday, January 27 at 2 p.m. The game
also marks the annual Girl Scout Day.