FAIRFAX, Va. - Amber Easter notched her fifth double-double of the season as four players scored in double-figures leading the George Mason women's basketball team past Northeastern 75-62 Thursday evening in the Patriot Center. The Patriots and Huskies split the regular season series as Mason improved to 12-11 overall and 6-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while Northeastern dropped to 4-19, 2-10.
Taleia Moton led Mason with 16 points as both Easter and Rahneeka Saunders added 14. Janaa Pickard completed the quartet of Patriots in double-figures with 11 points. Mason won the rebounding battle 43-31 behind Easter's team-leading 10 rebounds. The junior completed the game with four assists, three steals, two three-pointers and one block. Coming off the bench, Christine Weithman and Joyous Tharrington added eight and seven points, respectively, as Mason outscored Northeastern 15-0 off the bench. Tharrington also pulled down six rebounds, tying her career-high.
Northeastern was led in scoring by Christine Huber with a game-high 21 points, while Dani Iervolino and Deanna Kerkhof followed with 19 and 12 points, respectively. Huber recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds as Mason scored 19 second chance points off 22 offensive boards and 17 points off 14 Northeastern turnovers.
Mason took the early lead, but the advantage quickly turned in favor of the visiting squad when the Huskies took their first lead on an Iervolino triple for a 7-4 score with 17:30 on the clock in the first half. Northeastern built its lead out to five points twice before Moton cut the score to 13-12 with two buckets just before Saunders, who led Mason with 10 points in the half, hit a pair of jumpers giving Mason its first lead since the opening of the stanza at 16-15 with 9:28 to play.
Northeastern answered with a 9-0 run to take an eight point lead, but after a successful Huber trip at the charity stripe, Saunders ignited a 9-0 Patriot spurt to counter the Huskies' run and regain the lead at 27-26 with 3:20 remaining. The conference foes tossed the lead back-and-forth for the next two minutes before Weithman closed the half hitting two buckets for a 35-32 Mason lead at the break. Mason converted nine Northeastern turnovers into 10 points and used 12 offensive rebounds for 10 second chance points in the period.
Northeastern cut the score to a one-point ballgame in the early going of the second half, but Mason used an 8-0 run to open a 47-38 contest with 13:45 left to play. Pickard scored four unanswered to hand the Patriots their first double-digit lead with just under 10 minutes to play. After the Huskies chipped the score to a nine point deficit, Mason regained a double-digit lead on an Easter free throw as the Patriots held a comfortable lead for the next four minutes before a Huber basket setup a 65-56 score with 3:59 to play.
Easter hit Mason's second triple in the contest to push the Patriots out with a 68-56 lead as the home squad closed the contest with an old-fashioned three-point play from Moton for the 75-62 final score.
Mason returns to the court welcoming Hofstra for its WBCA Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awareness game on Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m.