|Women's Basketball Falls In Overtime at Hofstra, 72-67|
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The George Mason women's basketball team took Hofstra to overtime Thursday night in Colonial Athletic Association play, but the Pride held on for the 72-67 win in the Mack Sports Complex. Joyous Tharrington posted her first career double-double as Mason dipped to 6-13 overall and 1-7 in CAA play. Hofstra, led by Shante Evans's double-double, improved to 9-9 on the season and 5-2 in league play.
In overtime, Mason took its first lead of the game since the 17:42 mark of the first half when Tharrington hit an open shot from the inside left corner of the arc for a 63-62 advantage. Evans tied it at 63-all hitting the front end of a pair of free throws 13 seconds later before Hofstra used a 6-0 run to grab a 69-63 lead with 46 seconds remaining. Kyana Jacobs hit Mason's final field goal for the 72-67 final score.
Hofstra was 6-for-11 at the free throw line in the overtime period, while Mason was limited to a 1-for-2 showing at the charity stripe. Both teams hit four field goals in overtime as Mason slightly won the rebounding edge, 6-5.
For the game, Mason out-rebounded Hofstra 48-40 and was led by Tharrington's 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tharrington matched her career-high in scoring while Shavonne Duckett set a career-high with 14 points. Rahneeka Saunders added 11 points to the scoreboard. Senior Amber Easter matched her career-high of six assists and finished the game with seven rebounds and six points.
Evans led Hofstra with 33 points and 23 rebounds. Anma Onyeuku and Annie Payton each added double-figure scoring numbers with 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Andreana Thomas finished the game with 10 assists and seven points. The Pride shot 44.4 percent from the field and outscored Mason in the paint, 40-14.The Patriots shot 34.3 percent for the game and converted 18 Hofstra turnovers into 17 points.
Mason hit the first two field goals of the contest for the early 4-0 lead before Hofstra's offense came alive as the Pride pulled out with a 22-13 lead at the 11:12 mark. Trailing by nine, Mason answered with an 8-2 run as Hofstra was held to 1-of-4 from the field over the next four minutes, while the Patriots went 3-for-5 cutting the score to 26-23. Easter extended the run, hitting a free throw at the 4:54 mark to make it a one possession game at 26-24.
Tharrington knotted the score at 26-26 with a pair of free throws at 3:59 before Evans returned the quick lead to Hofstra on the next possession. Tharrington tied it up again at 28-28 on a jumper at 2:59 before Hofstra closed the half on a 7-2 run for the 35-30 halftime advantage.
Hofstra opened the second half with a 7-2 run to pull away with a 42-32 lead before Mason kept the Pride scoreless over the next four minutes, trimming the score to 42-39 with 11:57 left in the ballgame. Thomas and Evans combined to put the Pride up by seven, but Mason did not shy away and cut the score to 48-44 on a Tharrington bucket at 8:02.
Hofstra and Mason traded runs as the home squad went up by nine, but the Patriots responded with a 6-0 spurt to make it a 53-50 ballgame at the final media timeout at 3:45. Hitting her second field goal of the contest, Pickard connected on a trey from the top of the key at 2:50 to tie the game at 53-53.
Evans made it a three-point Hofstra lead hitting a pair of free throws with 59 seconds on the clock before Duckett hit a bucket with 42 seconds left for a 58-57 contest. Easter forced a timely Hofstra turnover on its next possession and went to the line for a pair being fouled with 10 seconds left. The senior hit the front end to tie the game at 58-58 as Hofstra pulled down the rebound and Thomas attempted the win, but the shot did not fall, forcing overtime.
The game marked Mason's first overtime game this season and first since February 19, 2012 against Georgia State in Fairfax.Mason returns to the Patriot Center to host a pair of CAA contests beginning with Old Dominion on Tuesday, February 5. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.