|Women's Basketball Falls to James Madison, 71-55|
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 71-55 score.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.