|Seniors Lead Women's Basketball Past UNCW 65-53 in Home Finale|
FAIRFAX, Va. - Four seniors posted double-figures Thursday night as the George Mason women's basketball team topped UNCW 65-53 in its home finale of the season. Senior Amber Easter recorded her fourth double-double of the season to lead the way for the Patriots.
With the Colonial Athletic Association victory, Mason improved to 9-18 overall and 4-12 in the league. UNCW dropped to 3-23, 2-13.
Followed by Easter's 17 points and 13 rebounds, senior Rahneeka Saunders added 14 points as seniors Melissa Collier and Joyous Tharrington each chipped in 12 points. Mason shot a season-high 46.8 percent from the field (29-62) and recorded its 13th contest of pulling down 40 or more rebounds with 42. With 38 points in the paint, the Patriots outscored the Seahawks in the paint by 14.
Karneshia Garrett led the Seahawks with 19 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting squad hit 41.7 percent (5-12) from beyond the three-point arc. Kelva Atkins added 15 points to the board hitting a pair of treys for UNCW.
After UNCW took a 3-2 lead on a triple from Dana Brown, the Seahawks went cold from the field over the next two minutes, shooting 0-for-5 as Mason used an 8-0 run to take a 10-3 advantage with 15:47 on the clock. Easter, who had collected eight rebounds within the first eight minutes, made it a 22-15 ballgame with a jumper at the 9:10 mark.
Coming out of the third media timeout, the Seahawks put together a 10-2 run spanning three and a half minutes to knot the score at 27. Mason closed the final 3:06 of the half on an 8-5 run to carry a 35-32 lead into the halftime break.
Mason took the first double-digit lead of the contest following four points from Saunders for a 47-37 contest with 13:50 to play. Easter, who was one point shy of a first-half double-double, collected her fourth double-double of the season completing a three-point play at 12:14 to setup a 50-39 Mason lead.
The Patriots opened a 13-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play and it would be a lead the home squad would not relinquish thereafter. UNCW would cut the lead to eight, 56-48, at the 6:50 mark, but that would be the closest the visiting squad would come as Mason closed out the win, 65-53.Mason hits the road for its final two games of the regular season first traveling to Harrisonburg for a 2 p.m. matchup against James Madison on Sunday, March 3.