FAIRFAX, Va. - Taleia Moton recorded her fifth game of the season of 30+ points in a contest, but it was not enough as the George Mason women's basketball team dropped a 66-54 decision to No. 21/20 Delaware Sunday afternoon in the Patriot Center. Mason moved to 7-7 overall this season and 1-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while Delaware improved to 12-1, 3-0.
Delaware used a strong rebounding game to secure the win, taking the edge on glass, 49-19, despite committing 21 turnovers. Two Blue Hens recorded double-doubles in the contest led by Elena Delle Donne's 40 points and 15 rebounds. Danielle Parker also contributed double-digit numbers in 10 points and 14 rebounds. Moton drained 30 points, including a 9-for-9 effort at the charity stripe, to lead the way for Mason. Moton finished the game with a career-high six steals.
Delle Donne secured her fourth double-double of the season, pouring in 19 points in the first half to go along with 11 rebounds, leading Delaware to a 34-25 halftime lead. Parker hit the Blue Hens' first bucket before Delle Donne drained the next 15 points as Delaware held a 17-6 lead with 12:15 on the clock. Rahneeka Saunders and Moton combined to cut the lead the seven before Delaware answered with a 7-0 run for a 20-10 lead, forcing Mason to burn its second timeout at 8:07.
Delaware pushed its advantage out to 16-points before Mason held the visiting squad scoreless over the next two minutes, putting together an 11-0 run. Six points from Moton, a three-pointer from Cierra Strickland and a jumper from Saunders fueled the spurt as Mason cut the score to 30-25 with 2:24 remaining in the half. Delaware closed the stanza with two free throws from Delle Donne and a jumper from Lauren Carra to account for the halftime margin.
After a 7-2 Blue Hen run opened the second half, Moton went on a 10-2 run, chipping the score to 45-37 at the 11:04 marker. Following a successful Moton trip to the stripe at 9:11, Delaware pushed its lead back out to 14-points with four points each from Delle Donne and Carra. The Blue Hens would hold a comfortable double-digit advantage the remainder of the contest, closing out the 66-54 victory.
Delle Donne's 40 points marks a new Patriot Center single-game opponent record, surpassing the previous mark of 38 points set by Nyree Roberts of Old Dominion on February 23, 1997. Delaware is ranked No. 21 in the latest AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. It is the second game this season Mason has played host to a top-25 opponent in the Patriot Center.
Mason returns to the road for a two-game road trip traveling to Northeastern on Thursday, January 12 for a 7 p.m. contest.