FAIRFAX, Va. - Taleia Moton drew a foul and converted a pair of free throws with .1 second on the clock as George Mason defeated Georgia State 70-68 in overtime in a Sunday matinee in the Patriot Center. Moton finished the game with 31 points for her sixth game of the season with 30+ points in a contest as Mason improved to 13-13 overall and 7-8 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Panthers dipped to 7-19, 1-14.
In overtime, the teams tied the score twice before Georgia State took a five-point lead following a put-back from Cody Paulk and a trip to the free throw line from Ashley Watson for a 66-61 advantage with 2:05 to play. Moton converted an old-fashioned three-point play with just under two minutes to play to cut the score to two and hit a layup to tie the score at 66-66 with 1:31 left. Chan Harris converted a jumper for a Georgia State lead, but Joyous Tharrington drained two free throws to tie the score for the 12th time in the game at 68-68.
With 42 seconds to the clock, Georgia State inbounded the ball and tried to take the lead, but Amber Easter pulled down the rebound on a blocked Jerlisa Taylor shot with 17 seconds remaining. Attempting to seal the victory for the Patriots, Moton drew a foul from Kendra Long, sending the senior to the free throw line with .1 second on the clock. Moton converted both attempts as Mason sealed the overtime win, 70-68.
Moton paced the Patriots offensively with a game-high 31 points, including seven in overtime, while Easter recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Behind Moton's 12-for-15 effort, Mason went 27-for-37 at the free throw line and recorded 15 steals - four from Moton and Rahneeka Saunders. Janaa Pickard picked up two blocks and finished with nine rebounds.
Leading the way for the Panthers was Paulk with 18 points. Long added 15, while Harris and Sade Means chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. GSU won the edge on glass, 54-41 paced by Harris' double-double with 14 rebounds.
Mason shook off a sluggish start to open the first half as the teams worked through three tied scores before the Patriots opened a 10-0 run fueled by eight points from Moton. Easter capped the run with a jumper at the 6:22 mark for a 16-6 Patriot advantage. Long hit a triple to snap the run, but Mason hit three in between a Means jumper for a 25-11 advantage with 3:13 to play. Georgia State closed the half on a 7-3 run for Mason's 28-18 halftime lead.
The Panthers took advantage of three Mason turnovers early in the second half and put together a 10-0 run in less than a minute to slice the score to 30-28 with 18:13 to play. Mason responded with an 8-0 spurt over the next minute and a half to reopen a 38-28 margin with 16:19 on the clock.
The lead was short-lived however as GSU continued to chip at its score and took its first lead using a 15-2 run, grabbing a 43-30 advantage with just over 11 minutes to play. The Panthers took a five-point lead at 47-42 following four points from Paulk as the clock hit 8:47.
Mason regained control on a pair of free throws from Tharrington, 50-49, but the teams continued to trade the lead back-and-forth, working through five lead changes until Mason took a 55-53 lead on a free throw from Moton at 2:11. Long knotted the score at 55-all from the charity stripe as the Panthers converted a Mason turnover for a 57-55 edge with 1:34 to play. Moton tied the score at the free throw line for the final score at the end of regulation, 57-57.
The last time Mason played back-to-back overtime games dates back to the 1994-95 season. A 76-74 victory over Northeastern on December 22, 2007 marks the last time Mason won in overtime.
Mason opens its final road swing of the season next traveling to Delaware on Thursday for a 7 p.m. meeting.