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(Photo by George Mason Athletics)
George Washington Holds Off Women's Basketball, 60-52
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 12/22/2012

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The George Mason women's basketball team cut the score to three points with just under three minutes remaining, but could not complete the comeback win, falling at George Washington 60-52 in a Saturday matinee in the Smith Center. Senior Amber Easter posted her third double-double of the season as the Patriots dipped to 4-5 with the loss. GW improved to 6-5 with the win.

Three Patriots reached double-figures led by Talisha Watts' career-high 12 points. Rahneeka Saunders added 11 points and was one rebound shy of recording her first double-double of the season, pulling down nine rebounds. Easter completed the trio of players in double-figures with 10 points and pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds as did Joyous Tharrington.

The Patriots shook off a slow start to the first half, hitting just 2-of-14 attempts through the first eight minutes as GW held its largest lead of 11 points, 17-6, at the 9:!8 mark. Mason, however, decisively closed the period and trailed by just one point, 25-24 at the halftime break.

Mason shot just 14.3 percent from the floor through the second media timeout as the Colonials took advantage of the shaky Patriot start. Trailing by 11 points, Mason used a 9-2 run fueled by five points from Easter to trim the score to 19-15 with 5:44 remaining in the first. A 6-0 run by the Colonials returned a double-digit lead to the home squad, but a furious end to the first half from the Patriots left the Colonials with a narrow one-point lead heading into the locker room.

Coming out of the final media timeout, Cierra Strickland hit a jumper at 2:20 as Watts closed the half draining six points, including a layup at the buzzer to draw the score to 25-24.

GW opened the second half in control and regained an 11-point lead, 41-30, at the 13:43 mark off a jumper from Aaliyah Brown. The Patriots cut it to six points with five unanswered points, but GW pushed it back out to a 14-point advantage with a 10-2 spurt for a 51-37 lead with 10:18 left to play.

Saunders hit a triple to follow that sparked a 13-4 run over the next 5:58 as the Patriots sliced the score to 55-50 by the final media timeout at 3:25. Mason continued its offensive attack as Watts moved it to a one possession game with a jumper at 2:58. But a layup from Jackson with 1:55 on the clock put GW back up by five as the Colonials closed out the contest going 3-of-5 from the charity stripe for the final 60-52 score.

For the game, GW narrowly outrebounded Mason, 44-42, and was led offensively by Danni Jackson with a team-high 21 points. Mason shot 29.0 percent from the field compared to GW's 44.3 percent effort, but went 14-of-20 from the free throw line, while limiting GW to a 4-of-9 performance at the charity stripe.

The Patriots return to the court following a holiday break welcoming Georgia Southern to the Patriot Center for the first-ever meeting in program history. The Patriots and Eagles tip at 3 p.m. on December 29.

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