|Women's Basketball Falls to Hofstra, 82-70|
FAIRFAX, Va. - Janaa Pickard and Amber Easter both recorded double-doubles Sunday afternoon, but it was not enough as the George Mason women's basketball team dropped an 82-70 Colonial Athletic Association decision to Hofstra in the Patriot Center. Mason out-rebounded the Pride by 15 and converted 28 offensive rebounds into 28 points in the contest.
Mason dipped to 12-12 overall and 6-7 in league play, while Hofstra improved to 17-7, 9-4.
Easter led Mason offensively with 19 points and notched her sixth double-double of the season with a team-high 11 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds. Pickard matched her career-high of 17 points as the sophomore pulled down 10 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season to go along with four blocks. Taleia Moton added 11 points to the board and Evelyn Lewis finished with seven rebounds and four assists.
Shante Evans led all scorers with 28 points, but was held to five rebounds. Candace Bond and Nicole Capurso added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Candice Bellocchio, who leads the league in assists, dished out seven helpers and finished with eight points and three steals.
Mason won the edge on glass (53-38) and led in second chance points (28-7), but was outscored in the paint 46-26.
Hofstra capitalized on a slow start by Mason in the first half, climbing out with an early 15-3 lead before Rahneeka Saunders and Joyous Tharrington combined to slice the score to 15-9 with 12:44 to play. The teams traded baskets for almost a three minute period before the Pride took their largest lead of the stanza of 14 points off an old-fashioned three-point play from Bellocchio at 7:40.
Moton sparked a 12-0 Mason run over the next two minutes and change as the Patriots cut the score to 32-30 on back-to-back treys from Easter and Pickard with 5:25 to play. Hofstra responded pushing its lead back out to nine points, but Mason would chip its deficit to four points on a Moton jumper before the end of the period as the Pride closed the stanza on a 7-3 run for a 49-41 halftime advantage.
Mason was held scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half as Hofstra rebuilt its comfortable lead back out to 54-41 before Christine Weithman snapped the scoring drought with a bucket at 14:47. The Pride took a 66-50 lead at 9:31 following a three-pointer from Bond. Cierra Strickland cut the score to a 12-point deficit hitting a jumper at the 5:14 mark as Pickard sliced the score to 78-66 at 1:58 after Hofstra gained another 16-point lead at 2:55. Mason finished the game with a pair of free throws from Pickard for the final 82-70 score.
Mason returns to the road after closing out this two-game homestand traveling to Towson on Thursday, Feb. 16 for a 7 p.m. meeting to wrap up the regular season series against the Tigers.