|Women's Basketball Tops Towson for First CAA Win, 65-54|
TOWSON, Md. - The George Mason women's basketball team picked up its first Colonial Athletic Association win and road win of the season in the same night, defeating Towson 65-54 Thursday in the Towson Center. Three Patriots scored in double-figures as Mason improved to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in league play. Towson dipped to 0-4 in conference action and 6-9 overall.
In her first career start, junior guard Cierra Strickland unloaded a career-high five three-pointers to lead Mason with a career-high 20 points. Strickland was a perfect 5-5 from long range and finished the contest with four steals, three rebounds and one assist. Senior Amber Easter added 16 points to the scoreboard as Rahneeka Saunders completed the trio of Patriots in double-figures with 12 points. The Patriots dominated on the glass once again, outrebounding Towson 42-26, led by Talisha Watts's career-high 12 rebounds. Easter dished out five assists and finished the game with six rebounds.
For Towson, Tanisha McTiller poured in a game-high 22 points. Michelle Peebles and Dominique Johnson added 15 and 11 points, respectively. Towson outscored Mason in the paint, 20-12, but the Patriots held the Tigers scoreless on second chance points, despite the home squad pulling down 10 offensive rebounds.
After trading the first two baskets, Mason held the advantage for the entire first half until the Tigers knotted it up with 44 seconds left to play. Strickland drained her second of four treys in the half at 6:13 to push Mason up by eight, 17-9. Mason opened a 10-point lead with just over five minutes left to play in the period on a Reana Mohamed bucket, but Towson's Peebles went on a 9-0 run to cut the score to 21-20 with 3:15 left in the period.
Strickland's third triple came with 1:59 on the clock and handed Mason a 26-22 advantage, but Towson tied it at 26-all on a Dominique Johnson jumper at the 44.5 mark. Strickland and Johnson both hit treys in the final 21 seconds to leave the teams tied at 29-29 at intermission. Strickland led Mason with 12 first-half points as the Patriots dominated on the glass in the opening 20 minutes, outrebounding Towson 21-10.
Towson quickly took its first lead of the game coming out of the halftime break on a bucket from Nyree Williams. The Tigers would push their lead out to as many as five points twice before Mason regained the advantage on an Easter three-pointer at the 10:13 mark for a 46-44 score. Peebles immediately tied the score with a bucket thereafter, but that would be the closest Towson would come the remainder of the contest as Mason retook the lead on a Strickland free throw at the 8:15 mark.
Easter hit Mason's last field goal at the 4:58 mark as the Patriots closed the contest going 11-for-12 at the charity stripe for the final 65-54 tally.
The last time a Patriot hit five triples in a contest was on November 27, 2011 by Christine Weithman. Mason finished the game going 19-of-23 from the free throw line and 6-of-12 from three-point range.Mason returns to the court to open a three-game homestand on Tuesday, January 22 welcoming the Northeastern Huskies to the Patriot Center at 7 p.m.