|Women's Basketball Falls to East Carolina, 71-53|
FAIRFAX, Va. - In its final non-conference contest of the season, the George Mason women's basketball team fell to East Carolina 71-53 Wednesday evening. Janaa Pickard led two Patriots in double-figures as Mason dipped to 5-6 with the loss, while ECU improved to 10-3.
For the contest, Pickard was just one point shy of matching her career-high with 16 points, while Joyous Tharrington equaled her career-high of 14 points. Kyana Jacobs recorded three assists and pulled down a career- and team-high seven rebounds. A quartet of players led the Pirates offensively paced by Whitny Edwards with 17 points. Britny Edwards secured a team-best 10 boards as ECU won the edge on glass, 37-34. ECU scored 26 points off the bench compared to Mason's four points.
ECU held the largest lead of the first half of seven points as the teams committed a combined 22 turnovers in the opening period. After trading the lead out of the gate, ECU used an 11-0 run to take the seven point lead, 15-8, at 11:51. Jacobs, who led Mason with Pickard in the first half with six points, sparked a Mason spurt at 10:43 as the Patriots trimmed the score to 15-14.
A pair of free throws from Melissa Collier returned the lead to Mason at 22-21 with 4:44 left to play in the first as the teams worked through three more lead changes and a tied score before ECU took a narrow 28-27 lead into the locker room.
Mason countered its 33.3 percent shooting from the floor hitting 9-of-10 attempts at the charity stripe, while ECU shot 44.8 percent from the field and went 1-for-5 at the free throw line in the first half. The Pirates scored nearly half their points off the bench as the starters contributed 15 points.
ECU took control of the second half straight out of the gate scoring 13 of the first 15 points to take a 41-29 lead with 15:29 on the clock. Going 7-for-11 from beyond the three-point arc in the second half, the Pirates continued to pull away and led by as many as 25 points at the 3:42 mark. Mason closed the contest scoring six unanswered for the final 71-53 tally.Mason returns to the court opening Colonial Athletic Association play at Northeastern on Sunday, January 6. Tip is slated for 2 p.m.