|Ohio Pushes Past Women's Basketball, 75-59|
ATHENS, OHIO - Taleia Moton drained 25 points behind 18 in the second half, but the George Mason women's basketball team dropped a 75-59 decision to Ohio in the Convocation Center Thursday night. The Patriots outscored the Bobcats in the second stanza, but Ohio sealed the win using a 52.8 percent shooting efficiency for the game. Mason dipped to 7-4 overall this season, while Ohio improved to 7-7.
Moton led all scorers with 25 points as Amber Easter also contributed double figures for the Patriots, chipping in 10 points. Five players reached double figures for Ohio led by Tenishia Benson with 14 points. Porsha Harris and Ashley Fowler each added 13, while Mariah Byard and Shavon Robinson had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Mason narrowly won the edge on glass, 31-29, led by Evelyn Lewis' eight rebounds. Harris paced the Bobcats with seven. The home squad outscored Mason in the paint 30-to-20 and picked up 19 points off the bench while converting 15 Mason turnovers into 18 points.
The teams opened the first half with a pair of runs as Mason sprinted out to an 8-0 lead within the first four minutes before Ohio opened its scoring. The Bobcats held the Patriots scoreless over the next four minutes to take an 11-8 lead with 12:49 on the clock. Christine Weithman snapped the run, but the Bobcats scored seven unanswered points in the next two minutes to take an 18-10 lead at the 10:02 mark.
Ohio built its advantage out to double-digits on a pair of free throws from Benson right after the third media timeout and took an 18-point lead at the 4:13 mark off a Robinson jumper. The Bobcats closed the half with a bucket from Benson to carry a 40-23 lead into the locker room.
The Bobcats maintained a comfortable lead throughout the second half and grabbed a 20-point advantage with just over four minutes expired in the period. The advantage was pushed out to its largest of the contest at 53-30 following a Fowler three-pointer hit at the 15:01 marker.
Mason continued to battle when Lewis sparked a 6-0 run as the Patriots cut the lead to 53-36 with 13:42 to play. The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes before a Pickard bucket at 8:24 jumpstarted an 8-2 Mason run, cutting the lead to 13 points at 65-52 with 6:41 to play. Mason would come within 15 points twice through the final time of play, but Ohio held on for a 75-59 victory.
Mason tips off its final non-conference contest at 6 p.m. traveling to Norfolk State on January 2. The Patriots open 2012 in Echols Hall.