FAIRFAX, Va. - In a Thursday afternoon matinee at the Patriot Center between rivals George Mason and George Washington, double-doubles from Janaa Pickard and Amber Easter helped lead the Patriots to a 58-55 victory over the visiting Colonials. Mason improved to 7-3 overall on the season, while GW dipped to 5-6.
Four Patriots scored in double-figures led by Taleia Moton with 20 points, while both Pickard and Easter added 11 points apiece. Rahneeka Saunders chipped in 10 points to complete the quartet. Pickard picked up her first double-double of the season with a team-high 11 rebounds as Mason won the edge on glass, 58-41. Easter recorded her second double-double of the season pulling down 10 rebounds.
For GW, Chakecia Miller led the squad with 20 points, while Megan Nipe and Danni Jackson added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Miller recorded a team-high 10 steals and added three assists.
The Patriots jumped out with a quick 5-0 lead on a pair of buckets from Pickard in the first half, but the Colonials held the home squad scoreless over the next three and a half minutes to take their first lead of 6-5 with 15:02 to play. After the teams traded three leads and tied the score twice in the next eight minute span, Mason put together a 13-0 run fueled by six points from Moton and five from Saunders over the next four minutes as the Patriots took a 26-13 lead at the final media timeout at the 3:35 mark. Mason closed out the stanza taking a 31-21 lead into the locker room.
Pickard opened the second half mirroring the first draining the first two buckets putting Mason up by 14, 35-21, with 18:33 to play. The Patriots held a double-digit lead until Jackson opened a 6-0 GW run, cutting the score to 48-42 with 8:14 remaining in the game. Moton drained a three-pointer to put the Patriots back up by nine points, but the Colonials went 4-for-4 at the charity stripe and hit a layup in the next minute to slice the score to 51-48 with 6:35 to play.
Saunders hit the front end of a 1-and-1 before Brooke Wilson nailed a three from the left wing, giving Mason a one-point lead with just under five minutes on the clock. Easter and Moton connected on a pair of free throws, but GW's Jackson converted a layup at the 1:53 mark for a one-point Mason lead. The Patriots regained a four-point advantage before a Miller jumper made it a one possession game with 41 seconds on the clock.
GW had a chance to tie the game as Miller picked up a steal, but failed to convert on the fastbreak. Jackson got a three-point attempt off as the clock ran out, but it failed to fall as the Patriots held on for a 58-55 victory.
Mason concluded this two-game homestand and returns to the court after the break traveling to Ohio on December 29 for a 7 p.m. tip in the Convocation Center.