BALTIMORE, Md. - In a game that witnessed 22 lead changes and eight tied scores, the George Mason women's basketball fell 65-53 Thursday night to UMBC in RAC Arena, snapping a six-game win streak. Janaa Pickard drained a career-high 17 points as the Patriots dipped to 6-2 overall and UMBC improved to 5-4.
Pickard and Amber Easter combined for 31 points as Easter contributed 14 to the total. Three Retrievers reached double-digits paced by Erin Brown with 21 points, followed by Michelle Kurowski with 19 and Brittany Crowell with 12. For only the third time this season, Mason lost the rebounding battle as UMBC won the edge on glass, 39-36 - Pickard and Easter led Mason, each with eight. UMBC forced 20 Mason turnovers and capitalized on the errors for 18 points.
After 12 lead changes and four tied scores, UMBC carried a narrow lead into the break after converting 10 Mason mishaps into 10 first-half points. Pickard owned Mason's first five points as the Retrievers built a 10-5 lead to open the stanza. The Patriots and Retrievers tossed the lead back-and-forth until Moton knotted the score at 16-all connecting on a pair of free throws which sparked a Patriot spurt to take a 21-16 lead with 9:26 to play. UMBC chipped away at its deficit and retook the advantage at 6:25 off a Kurowski three-pointer before Mason regained a three-point lead on buckets from Easter and Pickard. The Retrievers closed the half using a 7-3 run to take the one-point lead, 29-28, into the break.
The battle continued in the second half as neither team held larger than a five point lead through the fourth media timeout. Brown hit her fourth triple followed by a bucket from Kurowski to hold a 53-49 lead with just under four minutes left to play. UMBC broke open the score following the final media timeout, taking a double-digit lead on a Crowell trip to the charity stripe and held on for a 65-53 victory. The Retrievers went 5-of-6 at the free throw line down the stretch to finish 15-of-19 for the game.
Mason returns home to welcome No. 6 Maryland to the Patriot Center on Sunday, December 11. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. for the Game of the Week as all Mason students with a valid Mason ID will receive a free balance bracelet, while supplies last.