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Women's Basketball Upends Morgan State, 65-54
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 11/16/2012

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FAIRFAX, Va. - Behind double-doubles from Amber Easter and Janaa Pickard, the George Mason women's basketball team upended visiting Morgan State, 65-54, Friday night in the Patriot Center. Three Patriots scored in double figures as Mason improved to 2-1 on the young season, while Morgan State dipped to 1-2.

Easter, Pickard and Joyous Tharrington combined for 45 points in the victory as Easter posted a team-high 16 points and 13 rebounds. Pickard drained 15 points and secured 11 boards to tie her career-high on the glass, while Tharringon chipped in 14 points to set a career-high. Saunders contributed seven rebounds and dished out six assists.

The Patriots dominated on the glass, pulling down 58 rebounds to Morgan State's 32. Mason finished with 24 offensive rebounds led by five from Shavonne Duckett.

Shooting 40.0 percent from the field in the first half, Mason carried a 31-21 lead into the halftime break over the Lady Bears. Tharrington and Easter each posted eight points to lead Mason offensively as the Patriots outrebounded Morgan State, 24-15, including eight offensive boards which Mason converted into 11 second chance points.

Leading 19-11 off a pair of Duckett free throws at 8:11, a Pickard triple handed Mason its first double-digit lead of the period at the 6:37 mark. The redshirt junior gave Mason a 13-point lead, 26-13, at the fourth media break, but a 6-0 Morgan State spurt coming out of the timeout cut the score to 26-19 with 2:10 on the clock. Talisha Watts and Easter combined to put Mason back up by 10 as Easter closed the half with a jumper for the 31-21 halftime score.

Morgan State cut its deficit to eight points out of the halftime break with a jumper from Tracey Carrington, but it would be the last single-digit deficit the Lady Bears would hold until a trey from Bianca Jarrett at the 8:20 mark made it a 49-40 ballgame. Morgan State used Mason's cold shooting from the floor during that span to cut the score to 51-46 with 5:30 left to play.

A pair of free throws from Kyana Jacobs and a jumper from Pickard pushed Mason back out in front by nine, 55-46, with 3:32 left to play in the contest. The Lady Bears came within nine with under a minute to play, but Saunders hit a jumper for the final 65-54 score.

Jarrett led Morgan State offensively with a game-high 24 points as the Lady Bears converted 23 Mason turnovers into 25 points. Jarrett also the Lady Bears on the glass with seven boards and recorded six of Morgan State's 17 steals in the contest.

The last time Mason recorded 50 or more rebounds in a contest occurred last season when the Patriots secured 53 against Colonial Athletic Association foe Hofstra on February 12, 2012.

Mason returns to the court traveling to New Mexico for the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Tournament, Nov. 23-24. The Patriots take on host New Mexico State on Friday to open the tournament and will face either Drake or UC Irvine on Saturday.
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