FAIRFAX, Va. - On Sunday afternoon, the George Mason women's basketball team pushed its win streak to six games taking an 85-69 decision over Old Dominion to open Colonial Athletic Association play in the Patriot Center. With the win, Mason improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, while ODU dropped to 1-8, 0-1.
Mason was led by three players in double-figure scoring paced by Taleia Moton who recorded her third consecutive game of 30+ points, draining a career-high 33. Rahneeka Saunders posted her best offensive output of the season, adding 17 points, while Janaa Pickard chipped in 16 to complete the trio. The Patriots won the edge on glass, 38-32, led by Evelyn Lewis's nine boards and Saunders's eight. Mason shot 81 percent from the free throw line, going 29-for-36 led by Moton's 12-of-13 performance.
The first four minutes of the game saw seven lead changes and two tied scores until Mason broke open using a 10-0 run sparked by a Lewis jumper at 16:05 that gave the Patriots a 17-8 lead with 12:52 to play. Pickard handed the Patriots their first double-digit lead hitting a jumper at the 8:27 marker as Mason took its largest lead of the stanza on a three-pointer from Moton at the top of the key for a 36-19 score just inside the five minute mark. The Lady Monarchs never cut the score to single digits with their closest deficit set at the break, 40-30. Mason was paced by Saunders and Moton each in double-figures in the first half.
Mason dominated the second half, limiting ODU to a 39.4 percent shooting efficiency, while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor. The Patriots opened with a 6-0 run to push its lead back out to a 16-point advantage. After the Lady Monarchs cut the lead to 13 points, Mason rebuilt its lead out to 19 points, 69-50, on an Amber Easter triple with 8:48 to play. Moton followed drawing a foul beyond the three-point arc and converted all three attempts at the charity stripe to give Mason a 22 point lead, 72-50 with just over eight minutes remaining.
The closest Old Dominion came the rest of the game was 15 points as Mason closed out the contest with an 85-69 victory to mark the first time since the 2003-04 season the Patriots have recorded 80+ points three times in a season. The 2003-04 squad posted five decisions with 80 or more points.
Moton finished with 33 points to become only the second player in George Mason women's basketball program history to post three consecutive games scoring 30 points or more. Cindy Lundberg is the only other Patriot to accomplish the feat in 1975.
Mason returns to non-conference play traveling to UMBC on Thursday, December 8 for a 7 p.m. tip inside RAC Arena.