HARRISONBURG, Va. - Joyous Tharrington poured in a
career-high 23 points and Amber Easter added 15, but it was not enough as the
George Mason women's basketball team dropped a 67-56 Colonial Athletic Association
decision at James Madison on Sunday.
Mason (9-19, 4-13 CAA) shot 40.0 percent from the field led
by Tharrington and Easter in double-figures, while the Dukes were paced in
scoring by four players in double-figures led by Toia Giggetts with 15 points.
Kirby Burkholder posted a double-double on 14 points and 13 rebounds as the
Dukes won the rebounding battle, 38-33. JMU took advantage of 19 Mason
turnovers, converting the miscues into 21 points.
After the Dukes used a 13-2 run coupled with four treys to
take an 18-8 advantage with 12:32 left in the first, Mason answered with a 7-1
spurt to slice the score to 19-15 following a triple from Melissa Collier at
9:51. Following Collier's triple, Mason's defense kept the Dukes to one field
goal over the next nine possessions that spanned four minutes while regaining
the lead 24-23 on a Tharrington bucket at 5:46.
The teams then traded baskets over the next two and a half
minutes before Easter and Tharrington combined to put Mason up 30-27 at the
final media timeout with 2:11 left in the first half. The Dukes closed the half
with a 4-0 run to lead by one, 31-30, at the halftime break. Mason shot 46.2
percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes led by Tharrington's 10
JMU opened the second half with an 11-4 run, which included
seven unanswered in less than a minute, to grab a 42-34 advantage by the first
media timeout at 15:44. The Dukes pushed their lead out to 11, 48-37, before
Mason scored six unanswered points in 21 seconds to cut the score to 48-43.
Mason would cut the score to six points, but JMU would then
open a double-digit lead on a Giggetts bucket at 8:51 as the Dukes would hold a
comfortable double-digit lead until Tharrington dropped her ninth bucket at the
3:18 mark to make it a 60-52 ballgame. The Dukes closed the game with a 7-4 run
as Tharrington scored Mason's final six points for the final 67-56 decision.
With the win, JMU improved to 20-9 overall and 14-3 in
league play. The 20-win season marked the eighth in a row, setting a JMU school
Mason plays its final game of the 2012-13
regular season on Wednesday, March 6 at William and Mary. Tip is slated for 7