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(Photo by George Mason Athletics)
Women's Basketball Posts 64-38 Victory Over UMES
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 11/13/2012

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FAIRFAX, Va. - Behind three players scoring in double figures and a strong defensive performance, the George Mason women's basketball team downed UMES 64-38 Tuesday night in the home opener at the Patriot Center. Mason outrebounded UMES by 13 and forced 21 turnovers to capture the win.

Rahneeka Saunders led Mason (1-1) offensively with 13 points as Kyana Jacobs chipped in 11 and Janaa Pickard added 10. Shavonne Duckett led the Patriots on the boards with nine, while Joyous Tharrington pulled down eight and Amber Easter and Talisha Watts both added seven. Mason scored 22 points off the bench led by Jacob's 11. The Patriots finished the contest dishing out 10 assists and recording 13 steals.

For UMES (0-1), Jessica Long posted a team-high 13 points off 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range, while Shanyce Steward recorded a team-high nine rebounds.

After working through four lead changes in the first 10 minutes, the Patriots grabbed a 15-13 lead off an old-fashioned three-point play from Watts at the 7:29 mark and never looked back in the first half. Watts' three-point play sparked an eventual 14-0 run as the Patriots took a 26-13 lead capped by a pair of buckets from Saunders with 4:28 on the clock.

A TeAmber Burke triple snapped the Mason run, before Easter returned a 13-point advantage to the Patriots with a three-point play at 3:48. Mason took its largest lead of the half of 19 points, 37-18, off a jumper from Pickard with 31 seconds left to play. Long hit a trey at the buzzer for the 37-21 halftime score.

Mason led on the boards at the break, 26-16, paced by five boards each from Duckett, Easter and Watts. Pickard and Saunders led Mason offensively in the first half, each chipping in eight points.

The Lady Hawks cut the score to 10 points early in the second half jumping out with a 6-0 spurt forcing Mason to take a timeout at 17:58. Saunders pushed Mason's lead back out to 15 points hitting a pair of buckets within a minute of each other at the 15 minute mark.

Following a trey from Long at 12:51, Mason went on a 17-0 run over the next nine minutes expanding its lead out to 60-33 with 3:22 to play in the contest.  Ashleigh Claybrooks drained a bucket to end the run as Mason closed out the victory on a jumper from Cierra Strickland for the final 64-38 score.

Mason shot 38.3 percent from the field and hit 17-of-23 from the charity stripe led by Easter's 4-of-5 effort. Saunders added three from the free throw line as the Patriots converted 21 UMES turnovers into 25 points.The win marked head coach Jeri Porter's 200th career victory.

The Patriots return to the court and close out this two-game homestand welcoming Morgan State on Friday for a 7 p.m. contest.
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